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Kogi residents protest against Dangote as battle for Obajana Cement rages on [PICS]

The conflict between the Kogi State government and the Dangote Group over the ownership of Obajana cement took a new turn in the early hours of Tuesday, when citizens of the state occupied all mining sites across the state to express their grievances over the alleged exploitation of the state by the Dangote Group.

This comes just hours after it was reported that the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, were meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the matter.

Massive crowds gathered with various placard inscriptions urging the state and federal governments to press Dangote Group for justice.

The massive protest took place in several areas of the state. The Protesters has also urged the state government not to back out until Obajana Cement, the largest cement plant in Sub-Saharan Africa, is recovered.

It can be recalled that the state government sealed off the cement factory last week, claiming ownership of the company due to a breech of contract agreements and non involvement of the state assembly. Meanwhile, Dangote Group has responded that it owns the entire company.

According to the report of a committee of inquiry set up by the state government, documents show that the agreements entered into between Dangote Group and the previous government in 2002/2003 were invalid.

According to the government, the State Assembly was not involved in the negotiations.The government’s statement noted that Dangote Group has even failed to meet the terms of the agreement.

Though the state government has stated that it is open to negotiation, the citizens seemed adamant through the protests that there was no point in negotiating.

The protesters claim that Dangote Group has wreaked havoc on their lands. They alleged that trailers operated by the brand kill their people almost every day, and that mining operations leave them with erosion that take their lands and endanger their lives.

Watch a footage of the protest below;

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