Police in Adamawa have confirmed that five people were injured during a protest at Savannah Sugar Company in Numan, a subsidiary of Dangote Group, on Friday.
DSP Sulaiman Nguroje, the Public Relations Officer of the command, who confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola, said the incident occurred on Thursday, at about 5.00 pm at the company’s premises along Numan-Gombe road.
“The command received a report between the hours of 10pm to 5pm on Thursday, that a large number of youths from neighbouring Gyawana village had invaded the Savanna sugar company.
“Armed themselves with dangerous weapons and threatening the entire Savanna company staff, including residents of the staff quarters whom they asked to vacate the area.
“The tense situation led to the deployment of operational teams, including the military, to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in the company and its surroundings.
“Later in the evening, between the hours of 5pm and 6pm the youths, numbering 200, again mobilised themselves and tried to force their way into the company with the intention of attack and destruction.
“On seeing that, the security personnel decided to open fire to disperse them and as a result five people sustained bullet wounds and were rushed to the hospital for treatment,’’ Nguroje said.
No deaths were recorded and the situation had been brought under control and normalcy returned to the area, he added.
Meanwhile, he disclosed that the command had deployed teams to investigate the remote causes of the incident for further necessary action.
“The command is calling people to stop taking laws into their hands, instead they should always channel their grievances to appropriate authorities for proper action,’’ he said.
Mr Gideon Mbemun, the Executive member, Junior Staff Union of the company, told NAN that the incident followed misunderstandings between the management of the company and the Gyawana youths.
“There were some demands made by the host Gyawana youths Community to the company, among the major demands being the issue of employment.
“At the union level , we have intervened severally to solve the issues amicably and we learnt that the management had responded to the community, but they were not satisfied.
“I think, the issue can still be resolved amicably through dialogue and understanding,’’ Mbemun said.
He said the five people were injured on their legs and were receiving treatment at Lamurde hospital.
Mr Victor Purto, the Chairman, Lamurde Local Government Council, also confirmed the incident, saying that normalcy had returned to the area.
Purto confirmed that no one was killed during the incident, but some people sustained bullet wounds on their legs and that the council had set up a committee to find a lasting solution to the lingering problem.
Efforts made by NAN to reach the company’s management, however, failed.
In another development, the Army has denied that it killed protesters at the Savannah sugar company, saying that the account was ”fictitious and libellous”.
A statement issued by Maj. Haruna Sani, Assistant Director, Army public relations, 23 Brigade, Yola, described the reported killings as ”the figment of the imaginations of the authors of the report”.
The army’s reaction followed the report that had gone viral online to the effect that seven protesters were killed by the army at the sugar company on Thursday. (NAN)