The Kogi State Government is resorting to litigation over its dispute with Dangote Cement Plc over the ownership of the Obajana Cement Plant in the state.
The state’s position followed on the heels of the peace talks brokered between Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello and the chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
The peace talks informed the position of the National Security Council yesterday that an agreement had been reached between the two sides to re-open the plant in the interest of the workers.
Kogi State Information Commissioner Kingsley Fanwo said in a statement yesterday that the state government and stakeholders representing the different ethnic groups in the state resolved at an emergency meeting on Thursday night to go to court on the matter.
This, according to him, was “in the interest of the people and generations to come.”
Fanwo said the Governor made it clear during the Thursday night meeting that there was no going back on the state’s resolve to reclaim its asset, even while he sued for calm in the interest of peace.
He said: “This struggle is not about Governor Yahaya Bello or his administration. It is about the people of Kogi State.
“In the last 72 hours, well-meaning Nigerians, leaders and government officials have waded in and have pleaded with the Governor to consider reopening of the plant while discussions are ongoing.
“The expectations of the over 4 million Kogites are clear and high and we want to assure them that the Governor and the Government of Kogi State will not compromise the interest of the people of the state to reclaim their rights in the cement company.
“There were series of high-powered meetings to resolve the impasse, including meetings having the Governor and Alhaji Aliko Dangote in attendance. Discussions were held and statements of interest were established.
“But there was no agreement yet as some desperate parties are trying to promote in the media to mislead the public. We shall be non-violent in our approach as we are sure of green pathways to success for the people in this battle for the economic future of our dear state.
“However, we maintain that the collective asset of the people of Kogi State must be protected and reclaimed in this instance. And that is the process the government has started.
“We will fight this battle to the end until we get justice from the courts. No committee can resolve this dispute.”