Management of Okitipupa Oil Palm Plc has said it lost over N300 million to hoodlums and arsonists in last week’s #EndSARS protests in the state.
The company said the attack by hoodlums on its corporate headquarters at Okitipupa in Ondo State under the #EndSARS protesters led to the burning of several buildings within the premises and looting of properties, such as laptops, computers, electric generators, among others.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Taiwo Adewole, who spoke after a tour of the burnt and vandalised facilities, said the act was carried out by those he called organised enemies of the company.
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Adewole described the attack as barbaric, brutal and horrendous.
He said: “Management and all members of the Board of Directors are devastated by the sad development. I wonder how 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.
Management is planning to set up a team to ascertain the level of the destruction because 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.
“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 youth, who constituted more than 85 per cent of our employees. They are hurting the local economy, being the only industry in the whole area, and finally hurting the state economy.
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.
“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 dependents.”