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JTF commander brokers peace between firm, host community

The Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Atewe, has brokered peace between the Okomu Oil Palm Plantation and the Okomu Community in Edo.
A statement yesterday in Yenagoa by the spokesman of the JTF, Lt.-Col Isa Ado,  said the two parties had been at quarelling for many years.
The community had accused the company of neglect and environmental pollution without compensation and non-employment of Okomu citizens.
Anka said the reconciliation of the feuding parties by the commander followed several meetings at the Headquarters of the JTF and in Okomu town.
The statement quoted the traditional ruler of the community and the Apoi of Okomu Ijaw, Dr Biowei Yuyu, as thanking the commander for the reconciliation and promised to maintain the agreement accord reached.

The Managing Director of Okomu Palm Company, Dr Graham Hefer, thanked Atewe for mediating in the dispute, which he said had affected the production of the company for some time.
The statement said the commander and the traditional ruler also inaugurated a nine-member Development Council to oversee affairs between the company and the community.
“It was agreed that the company should withdraw all pending litigations against the community immediately and put the two borehole sunk for the benefit of the community in good working condition.
“The company also promised to provide job opportunities to qualified indigenes of the community,’’ it said.
Anka said that the commander of the JTF also promised to sink an additional borehole to complement the two already donated by the company.
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