TENSION IN ENUGU COMMUNITY OVER ARREST OF YOUTH LEADER FOR LEADING PROTEST AGAINST NIGERIAN BREWERIES

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TENSION IN ENUGU COMMUNITY OVER ARREST OF YOUTH LEADER FOR LEADING PROTEST AGAINST NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC

There is palpable tension in Umuezeani community, Ameke Ngwo in the Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, following the arrest of some youths for allegedly protesting against Nigerian Breweries Plc.

There is palpable tension in Umuezeani community, Ameke Ngwo in the Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, following the arrest of some youths for allegedly protesting against Nigerian Breweries Plc.

The protest was about the alleged non-release of economic empowerment packages to their host community.

The protesters accused the company of creating a crisis in the community and using the chairman of the local government area, Hon. Nze Philip Okoh.

The local council chairman was accused of using his security details to hound the youths protesting against the unfair treatment of their community.

The protesters accused the management of the company of also reneging on all the agreements reached during the administration of former governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi while calling on the present administration led by Dr Peter Mbah to come to their aid.

“Following the continued inhuman treatment being meted upon us by the management of Ama Brewery of Nigerian Breweries PLC, we the people of Umuezeani Community Ameke Ngwo are passionately calling on the amiable Governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Mbah to come to our rescue,” Secretary of the community, Comrade Bethrand Agu said.

Continuing, Agu recalled that “two years ago, the community in their numbers had shut down Ama brewery over the alleged continued marginalisation of the host community, ranging from unemployment, contract diversion, fuelling of internal crisis among others.

“It took the intervention of the then governor of the state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to resolve the impasse and he directed Ama Brewery to immediately release the economic empowerment packages to their host community, which they did.

“However, since the expiration of the tenure of the then Governor, Ama brewery management led by the Brewery Manager, Mr Peter Ani has now made a U-turn by diverting the contracts meant for the host community for his selfish interest.

“What we’re here to do today is to demand what rightly belongs to us and also call for help and let the Executive Governor of Enugu State and Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries earnestly intervene and liberate the community from this corporate intimidation and undue subjection.

“It is also on record that no single indigene of our community is in the employ of the brewery in their many decades of existence.”

He also lamented that rather than listening and releasing their economic rights to them, the brewery manager Mr Peter Ani “unleashed men of the Nigerian Army and police force of the 9th Mile division to harm and intimidate the people of Umuezeani Community, Ameke Ngwo.

“As I’m speaking with you now, one of our community youth leaders, Mr Nnamdi Amanoh was unduly arrested and is currently detained at 9th Mile Police Division and all efforts by our people to get him released failed.

“The community calls for the immediate intervention of the Governor of Enugu State to rescue them from the harsh treatment of Ama Brewery.”

Efforts made by SaharaReporters to speak to Nigerian Breweries Corporate Affairs Manager (East), Joy Egolum, were unsuccessful as she did not answer her calls.Also, at the time of filing this report, she had yet to reply to a text message sent to him.

About Dons Eze

DONS EZE, PhD, Political Philosopher and Journalist of over four decades standing, worked in several newspaper houses across the country, and rose to the positions of Editor and General Manager. A UNESCO Fellow in Journalism, Dr. Dons Eze, a prolific writer and author of many books, attended several courses on Journalism and Communication in both Nigeria and overseas, including a Postgraduate Course on Journalism at Warsaw, Poland; Strategic Communication and Practical Communication Approach at RIPA International, London, the United Kingdom, among others.

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One comment

  1. Chinedu G Ukwuani

    It appears Mr. Peter Ani is the problem and not necessarily Ama Brewery. But let me ask one question. Why can’t our people operate in a civilized and peaceful manner instead of impunity and violations of people’s fundamental human rights? Umuezeani community reserves the right to protest, peacefully. I don’t think using (the army?) or police to intimidate the community solves any dispute, instead it fuels and escalates the small dispute. I guess until they spill somebody’s blood, God forbid. Please release Mr. Nnamdi Amanoh immediately, and respect your agreement with the community. Let’s all learn to be more civil. Thank you.

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