The Okitipupa Oil Palm Plc is currently in pains over the wanton destruction of its facilities during the #EndSARS nationwide protest last week, estimating a total loss of N300million.
The rampaging youth descended on public property and the correctional centre in Okitipupa, last week, setting them on fire and freeing about 58 inmates.
The attacks were also attended by massive looting.
The destructive acts first started in Akure, the Ondo State capital, where two major police stations were burnt, as well all the headquarters of the two leading political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress.
Decrying the destruction, the Chief Executive Officer of OOP, Taiwo Adewole, said ,on Tuesday, that hoodlums razed down several buildings and looted several offices, carting away laptops, desktop computers and generators.
He described the action as “barbaric, brutal and horrendous,” insisting that it was carried out by organised enemies of the company, with the hidden agenda of grounding it and returning it to the moribund state it was for nearly 10 years.
Mr Adewole, who said management and all members of the Board of Directors were devastated by the sad development, lamented that “enemies of progress could go to this extent to visit such a dastardly and ruinous act on the company that is just being salvaged from the destruction unleashed on it by undue government interference, inept and corrupt management over the years.”
“There are certain items and consumables whose values cannot be easily quantified, however in terms of buildings and physical structures burnt and those carted away, I can put the loss at about N300 Million,” he said.
He urged security operatives and government to help track down perpetrators of the mayhem, with a view to bringing them to justice.
“Whatever group of people under any guise with the agenda of destroying or hurting the company, is first and fore-most hurting the economy of the youths, who constituted more than 85 per cent of OOP’s employees, hurting the local economy being the only industry in the whole area and finally hurting the state economy,” Mr Adewole said.
“This company with all its plantations scattered across three local government areas in the state, is a commonwealth in which all residents are either stakeholders or shareholders and beneficiaries, one way or the other, and to that extent everyone has a moral duty to protect all its facilities, including the plantations.
“Any act of vandalism against OOP is an indirect attack against the wellbeing of youths earning their living through the company as employees, including their direct and indirect dependants.”
The police have vowed to apprehend those involved in the destruction and looting of buildings during the crisis and had announced the arrest of some suspects in connection to the acts.
However, the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had earlier lamented the burning of the offices of the two political parties and other public assets, saying the culprits would be made to face the law.
He said those that had been arrested in connection with the destruction of properties in the state would face the full wrath of the law.
“We will set up a committee to assess those damage and come up with what to be paid. Individuals whose properties were destroyed will be adequately compensated by the state,” he said.
“Based on preliminary reports, I undertook a tour of affected areas and assets alongside security chiefs for an on the spot assessment.
“I have seen with my eyes, the painful destruction of public assets such as the High Court Complex, Local Government Secretariat, including school shuttle buses all in Okitipupa, several Police Stations, vehicles, offices, banks, markets as well as assets of private individuals.
“Of note is the Okitipupa Correctional Centre, where inmates, including convicted ones, have been released.”
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