BENUE’S divestment of over N43 billion shares to Dangote Cement Plc is now heating up the state, with the local chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday protesting against the move it described as a major blow to the socio-economic life of the people.
Chairman of CAN in Gboko, Rev. Sam Gar, who led other men of God and worshippers in the protest, said it was appalling that indigenes were passing through such agony but the state government had chosen to worsen their plight by toeing the path of greater affliction. He called on well-meaning indigenes to join the association in rejecting the deal.
Gar, who threatened that CAN could vent its wrath on those behind the deal, called on political parties as well as their aspirants to take decisive steps to reverse the action now or be rejected at the polls.
He also raised alarm over plans by Dangote Industries to lease more land and limestone deposits for cement production activities at Tse Kucha in Gboko following an alleged agreement with some politicians in the state.
To that end, he admonished relevant authorities, stakeholders and pressure groups to do everything possible to involve the people and their leaders in any land or solid minerals allocation process in order to check any move that could mortgage the destinies of the people.
Meanwhile, state’s Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Hyacinth Dagala, has pledged to continue partnering practicing journalists in the state towards actualising his dream of making Benue a crime-free society.
Dagala, who spoke yesterday in Makurdi when the leadership of the Correspondents Chapel paid him a courtesy visit, appealed that the cooperation between the mass media and the police in the state be sustained, stressing that with a strong synergy, the two bodies could tackle crime head on.
He commended the media’s fair and objective coverage of events in the state, attributing the success recorded by the command in the fight against crime in his few months in the state to the immense cooperation of newsmen.
Earlier, Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, Mr. Sunday Ogli, represented by the Vice-Chairman, Emmanuel Antwen, said that journalists, particularly correspondents, have resolved to assist the police to effectively combat crime in the state.
CAN expressed worry over the prolonged industrial action by lecturers in the state’s polytechnics and colleges of education, and urged the state government to urgently address the matter to prevent students indulging in anti-social behaviours, as most of them now roam the streets desperately.
“Thousands of idle youths and restless students are roaming the streets, and again the consequences of having such large number of young people at home added to thousands displaced by the recent Fulani invasion and the unending Taraba and Adamawa crises are better imagined than identified,” CAN said.