Torrents of criticism have trailled the donation of Tricycle (Keke NAPEP) to some Oworo communities in Lokoja council area by the Management of Obajana Cement Factory during the weekend.
The company’s donation was termed as part of their Community Social Responsibility, CSR, to the company’s host communities.
The donation has become the talk of the day following critical constituent who were irked by the ‘celebration of the tricycle’.
A high chieftain of the Oworo community, Chief Sam Abeneme, who spoke on behalf of Oworo people in a statement on Tuesday made available to newsmen in Lokoja said the tricycle’s donation was not only ridiculous but a complete insult on the Oworo people.
Abeneme, the Obahaiye of Oworoland said, “The Obajana Cement Factory has over the years failed in her Social Responsibility to the host communities, but we have not bothered so much. But their latest antic in the name of donating tricycles, I repeat, tricycles is the height of deceit that must stop.
“It is not only a show of shame to have dragged our refered traditional rulers to the company, only to be giving tricycle as empowerment items, as if they were ‘political boys’ begging for empowerment. What do they expect communities to do with tricycle? Of all the needs of the communities, is it tricycle that should be considered?
“The cement factory has again show their poor scorecard to the host communities. While one would have ordinarily overlook their poor performances, but the collective insult on the traditional rulers and the Oworo people in general, is a big slap on our face.
“In the first 12 months after inception, the company retired all it loans commitment to financial institutions that backed the company. Since then the company has been making humongous returns smiling to the bank but little evidence of giving back to the immediate communities.
“What then shall we say of the entire catchment area spilling over to Lokoja, other parts of Oworo and Okunland. The road connecting Obajana through Oyo, to Jakura, Agbaja and Igbonla that bursted out at Jamata is begging for attention from the company. That is a more concrete thing that can open the landscape for further development.
“You can see the kind of arrogance the company displayed. If care is not taken, their next ‘CSR empowerment will be bicycle…or wheel barrow! Their gifts has reduced us.
“As a people we are ashamed that the company could reduced us to tricycles. And to expect us to dine and wine in celebration? This is not what we deserves.
“We would not have worry if they continued to pay lip service to their responsibilities, but whenever they want to give, they should give something better. This is an insult taking too far, that has make the Oworo people a laughing stock.”
Chief Abeneme said they are aware of what is obtainable in other climes, stressed that the Obajana Cement Factory behaviour is a testament of the low value the company placed on the Oworo host communities, “I admonish the other communities to be watchful and mindful of how they play prey to the hands of the company in Oworo land as they gradually showing interest in it under the guise of investment. For now I shall stop here but henceforth I shall keep an eye on their activities around us. God bless Oworo land.”