…As workers, community protest incident
MAKURDI — Emotion ran high, Wednesday, evening, at the Gboko plant of the Dangote Cement, when an explosion allegedly claimed the live of a father of two and labourer at the factory, one Mr. Solomon Ashir.
Vanguard gathered from an eyewitness, that the deceased was hit by limestone from the quarry site of the plant which led to his instant death before medical attention could get to him.
According to the eyewitness, the incident sparked angry reaction from his colleagues and youths of the host community who barricaded the factory and Makurdi-Gboko road with bonfire in protest against alleged poor safety measures in the plant.
“The deceased who was an indigene of the host community and staff of the parking plant of the company was hit by limestone at the quarry after an explosion that occurred when workers at the site were prospecting for raw materials.
“His death sparked angry reaction from fellow workers and youths of the community who in protest took the corpse of the young man to the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, Tyoor Ukpekpe, Chief Ishi Yonguigba.
“At the palace, the paramount ruler pleaded with the protesters to remain calm and also have restraint in their action.
“Not satisfied, the mob made bonfires on the highway and matched with the corpse into the factory where they insisted on seeing the Assistant General Manager, AGM, in charge of mines, who had fled the scene for fear of being molested.
“They, however, forced their way into the AGM’s office where they dumped the remains of the deceased.”
Vanguard, however, gathered that Ashir’s remains was taken away and deposited at the Gboko General Hospital by the management of the factory.
Efforts to get a reaction from the company’s manager in charge of community relations, Mr. Bem Meladu, proved abortive as his cellphone was switched off.
Meantime, the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Daniel Ezeala who confirmed the incident said the command had commenced investigations into the matter.