Shareholders Explains  Protest at Oando AGM, Fault  Nwosu’s Claims

The South-South Coordinator of the Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group (OSSG), Mr. Clement Ebitimi,   has said the board and management of Oando Plc should not overlook the reasons the members of his group  staged a protest at the company’s  40th annual general meeting (AGM)  in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State last Monday.

According to him, the protest was to expression  discontent with the state of affairs of  the company. He therefore, said   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 founding  National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunday Nwosu, that those who protested at the AGM were paid to disrupt the meeting.

Ebitimi described as “unfortunate”, Nwosu’s attempt to downplay the significance of his members’ legitimate protest.

He said:  “We 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.

 “If 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 “not sponsored by anyone to protest.”

 “We 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 cent  in recent times. We don’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.

 “It doesn’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,” Ebitimi said.