To arrest breakdown of law and order, the Edo State Government has waded into the dispute between three Chinese companies and their host communities in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state, calling for dialogue between the contending parties.
Following a directive from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, government officials temporarily shut the premises of the three companies and ordered their staff to stay clear of the premises until the matters are resolved.
The affected companies are Time Ceramics, Rhongsheng Glass Company, Rongtai Aluminium Company and Watson Doors Industry Ltd.
Recall that the community leaders raised the alarm that the companies were not abiding by agreements contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the communities.
The leader of the government enforcement team and Director of Environment, Mr Godfrey Ehon, who represented the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainability, said government acted swiftly to sustain peaceful coexistence between the companies and their host communities.
He noted, “We are carrying out the directive of the state government because, for some time, there has been heightened tension in the community. The idea is to temporarily close down the companies so as to give room for dialogue with the host communities”
He explained that the intervention was aimed at inviting the community leaders and the companies to a dialogue so as to resolve their differences amicably.
Public Relations Officer, Rongtai Aluminum Company, identified as Mr. Bunk denied the allegation, noting that the company maintains a good relationship with the community leaders.
He said, “We have not received any complaint from the community leaders. We have been meeting with them and also ensured that we meet our responsibilities to them.”