Aggrieved Ibadan residents sack Chinese workers, protest alleged damage of facilities


Some residents of Ido Local government area in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital and their counterparts from Odeda Local government area in Ogun state on Monday sacked Chinese construction workers handling the Ibadan-Lagos light rail project.

They took the action over an alleged damage of some facilities in the area and insensitive posture of the contractor.

DAILY POST learnt that a contract to construct the Ibadan-Lagos light rail was awarded to the Chinese Construction firm (CCECC) by the Federal Government.

The 3-year contract is expected to be completed in December this year.

But on Monday, though there were sounds of gunshots fired by the soldiers and mobile policemen posted to provide security to the expatriates, this do not deter the protesters who surged further in the direction of the gun wielding uniformed men.

The aggrieved residents who came from six communities in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo state and Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun state besieged the site of the construction company as early as 7.30am, calling on the federal government to wade into the crisis between them and the Chinese company.

They appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to save them from the inhuman operations of the Chinese company by calling the management to order .

Some of the affected communities include Aba-Oke, Ago Tente, Eleso, Bakatari, Ilupeju, and Orile-Ilugun.

The construction site which is situated at Eleso community, along Ibadan-Abeokuta Expressway had soldiers and mobile policemen stationed at the main gate.

The angry residents were protesting against the alleged damage of 33KVA electricity pole and subsequent disconnection of electricity supply to the affected communities for over three weeks.

Baale of Eleso community, Chief Isiaka Abe who said he was present at the scene of the protest described the attitude of the Chinese workers as inhuman and barbaric.

He recalled the efforts made by the communities to reach out to the management of the Chinese firm, but wondered why proved very difficult and unfriendly.

Abe while demanding immediate repair of the damaged electric pole, warned against continued use of dynamite to blast rock in thickly populated areas.

He said “We want them to come down and see for themselves the buildings they damaged.

“Let them visit poultry farm owners and see the loss of livestocks running into several millions of naira.

“We want the government to caution them and help them see the need for peaceful relations with their host communities.

“Otherwise, they will not be allowed to continue to torment the communities. We shall not allow that, that is why we are here today”.

He also called on the Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Ameachi to call the management of the Chinese construction company to order or be prepared to face the wrath of the communities.

Some of the aggrieved residents noted that the Chinese construction workers had caused damage to their homes, destroyed their farms and killed their live stocks through their operations.

One of them, Mr. Festus Adewale said ‎”more annoying is their insensitive posture and refusal to take responsibility for their failings.

“They have continued to use dynamite to blast stones, an action which has caused not only panic but damaged many buildings and deaths of hundreds of livestocks in the host communities”.


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