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Okomu Oil rubber plantation under siege by gunmen, company helpless



Gunmen have taken over a rubber plantation belonging to Okomu Oil, tapping the product at will while the company watch, helpless.

The company’s spokesperson, Fidelis Olise, who disclosed this on Thursday said that the occupation took place a day after the leadership of the Western Zone of the Ijaw Youth Council paid a solidarity visit to the company.

According to Olise, the security personnel invited to come and arrest the situation cannot shoot at the gunmen despite most of them (the gangsters) brandishing arms and ammunition in the presence of the operatives.

He said, “The leadership of the Western zone of the Ijaw Youth Council led by Oluderimon Omaghomi had paid a condolence/solidarity visit to Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc on Monday.

“During the visit, the IYC leadership commiserated with the company on the killing of a worker and the setting ablaze a portion of the company’s plantation, pledging to support the company to bring to an end the occurrence of further attacks on the company personnel, equipment and plantation.

“The IYC also pledge to organize at grassroot level the representative of the communities and also help in enlightening/training the communities executives on their roles in proper representation of their communities in their engagement with the company.

“Barely 24 hours after the solidarity visit of the IYC in their attempts to bring to an end the repeated attacks on the Company’s plantation, another group of armed men attacked the company in continuation of the theft of the company’ wet rubber lumps.

He continued, “During this latest attack, a head person was seriously beaten and forced him and other rubber tappers to carry out of the plantation, the wet rubber lumps that have been collected by the tapper.

“The gangsters have apparently taken over a portion of the rubber plantation and are now tapping the rubber trees themselves.

“The police and army sent to apprehend the thieves are reticent to shoot at them even when the gangsters brandish guns and the limitation of the security forces have helped in no small way to embolden the gangsters.

“It is unbelievable that gangsters can continually raid a corporate organization and yet the security personnel cannot intervene or apprehend them and bring them to justice.”

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