By Joe Ebi, Benin
Communities under which Okomu Palm Oil Plc operates have cried out to relevant authorities including Edo State government to rescue them from the palm oil firm, lamenting that they have been rendered homeless in their own land, hence they are suffering.
The affected communities made this call in an International Alliance Meeting Against Industrial Oil Palm Plantations in West and Central Africa through zoom in Benin City.
The Fiyewei of Okomu kingdom, Chief Ajele Sunday, while accusing the company of land grabbing, frowned at the open assault and violation of human rights perpetrated by the palm oil firm, just as he called for justice for the people.
Also speaking, Mrs. Juliet Ikuku and Hellen Joseph said activities of the company over the years have been characterised by violation of citizen rights.
They further accused the company of burning personal documents including academic materials, adding that some of them who were reading to become career persons in life are now stranded as they can not retrieve their academic certificates from the damaged areas.
On her part, Hajia Hajarat Abdullahi, a female farmer displaced by the activities of the palm oil company expressed disappointment over the use of force, alleged military might to dislodging, dislocating, dispersing villages and settlements without compensation.
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However, reacting to the allegations, the Public Relations Officer, Okomu Palm Oil Plc, Mr. Fidelis Olise denied the allegations as untrue.
He explained that there was no rift between the villagers and the firm and wondered why they will burn the area down.