Shareholders ExplainsÂ Â Protest at Oando AGM, FaultÂ Â Nwosuâ€™s Claims
The South-South Coordinator of the Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group (OSSG), Mr. Clement Ebitimi,Â Â Â has said the board and management of Oando Plc should not overlook the reasons the members of his groupÂ Â staged a protest at the companyâ€™sÂ Â 40thÂ annual general meeting (AGM)Â Â in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State last Monday.
According to him, the protest was to expressionÂ Â discontent with the state of affairs ofÂ Â the company. He therefore, saidÂ Â Â that after the AGM, the issues should be addressed so as to reposition the company for better performance.
Meanwhile, Ebitimi has faulted claims by the foundingÂ Â National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunday Nwosu, that those who protested at the AGMÂ were paid to disrupt the meeting.
Ebitimi described as â€œunfortunateâ€, Nwosuâ€™s attempt to downplay the significance of his membersâ€™ legitimate protest.
He said: Â â€œWe were in the hall when we started our agitation but because we did not want to disrupt the meeting, we heeded appeals to move to the entrance so the whole world can see our agitation. The same Nwosu was one of those who came to beg us.
Â â€œIf we had wanted to disrupt the meeting, no one could have stopped us.
Ebitimi said contrary to speculations and attempts by the management of Oando and ISAN to discredit them, they were â€œnot sponsored by anyone to protest.â€
Â â€œWe read series of newspaper reports and petitions which showed that all was not well with the company. The issue is that the value of the shares of our members have been eroded by more than 80 per centÂ Â in recent times. We donâ€™t want to kill Oando, but we demand more responsible behaviour from the management.
The company has consistently reported losses over the past three years and has failed to pay dividends, yet the executives are increasing remuneration, acquiring choice properties and buying private jets.
Â â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter how much shares we have in the company. Even if it is 1,000 shares, we are bonafide shareholders and we refuse to be suppressed. Our members are bonafide shareholders of Oando. After the protest and assurances that our grievances would be addressed, we went back into the hall to continue the meeting. We are orderly, decent and law-abiding citizens and we proved this by our conduct,â€ Ebitimi said.