Nigeria: Edo community laments alleged neglect by multinational company, others

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Edo State governor Godwin Obaseki (far right) with Okomu Oil's Managing Director Graham Hefer (far left) at the Okomu Oil Palm Plc Pre-Annual General Meeting Dinner, 2018 (Image)
Nigerian Tribune | 5 December 2023

Edo community laments alleged neglect by multinational company, others
 
by Idahosa Moses  

The people of Okomu community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State have decried the alleged neglect and marginalisation of the area by Okomu Palm Oil, a multinational company and the management of National Park.
 
The people lamented that despite being an ancient community that plays host to a national park and the palm oil  firm, the community and  its environs have been neglected.
 
Speaking to journalists, a leader in Okomu community, Mr Friday Atele, said what the indegenes expected from Okomu Oil Palm Company when it came on board in 1976 is quite different from what is being experienced now.

“When it came on board, we expected development and impact in our communities.  Now, all our communities have been driven to the river."
 
“When the National Park came up with  its  extension bid, the people of Okomu  community told  its management  that the land belongs to them and that the company  doesn’t need to expand it, but  it refused."
 
‘’Okomu community has over 35 communities under it with an estimated population of over 15,000, yet no government presence, neither do they have telecommunication lines  to  use in the areas,’’ he said.
 
On his part, a leader in the area, Chief Freeman Cousin, while explaining the  alleged neglect, identified  the state government’s inability to recognise the people of Okomu community  as a unique and indigenous people, as a major challenge  confronting  the community.
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