L-R: Nasarawa State Gov. Abdullahi Sule; Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Governor Yahaya Bello, Chief of Staff to President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and APC chairman Abdullahi Adamu, at the parley to resolve the Obajana imbroglio.
By Ed Malik, A | October 16, 2022
Before the ultimatum that Kogi State government gave to Dangote Group to shut down their operations at Obajana Cement Company expired 48 hours ago, there had been some rapprochement brokered by President Buhari, pleading with Governor Yahaya Bello, to allow the factory to run while the discussions to resolve the subsisting ownership tussle are ongoing, in the interest of the national Gross.
Prior to this position, there had been unfounded viral rumours that the Federal Government had ordered the reopening of the factory.
For the Federal Government had raised a high-powered emergency delegation led by his Chief of staff, Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, the national Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress and a former governor of Nassarawa State, Adamu Abdulahi and the incumbent Nassarawa Governor, Abdullahi Sule, to meet with Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello and Alhaji Aliko Dangote for a truce.
A source knowledgeable about the discussions at the meeting said that, the FG has appealed to the Kogi Governor to allow the company to run while the negotiations are on, in the interest of the national economy. But Team-Kogi, leg by Govenror Yahaya Bello opined they would rather do what benefits the people of Kogi, as against the interest of single individual, calling for transparency and truth by all parties.
However, the generality of Kogites thought their governor should not be swayed by short term solution that does not take into account all the contending touch-points of the issue being contested.
Even a Commissioner who served in a previous administration in the State, spoke outside camera and said that, reopening the factory without any measure of agreement could lead to unprecedented riots as the people are angry with the Dangote Group.
“This way, those Kogi people may not be controllable. This matter is not about the governor again, the people are asking questions and If Yahaya Bello agrees to any kangaroo arrangement, he is on his own. This is not about a political party, it is a Kogi struggle.”
Despite, a presidency source clarified the FG’s position, saying they did not give order to Kogi Governor to reopen the factory, but appealed to him to leave the lines of communication open for quick resolution of the matter.
The source said, “They (FG team, Dangote and Yahaya Bello) had another meeting on Thursday. Dangote and Yahaya Bello were both around, and they pleaded with Bello to calm his people. It was not an order, it was a plea,” he said.
But when questioned on the viral pronouncement that the FG had ordered the factory reopened, the commissioner insisted that there was a plea not an order.
“It was a misapplication of words, they pleased, it was not an order”, he said.