A Chinese company, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) on Saturday ordered the arrest of a LEADERSHIP newspaper Correspondent, Mr. Kunle Olasanmi for demanding the repairs of his damaged property located in Garam community, a suburb of Bwari Area Council of FCT.
Residents of the area were also dispersed by soldiers When they staged a protest against the insensitivity the company had shown since the property were damaged.
The angry residents, numbering about 50 had mobilized themselves as early as 6:30am on Saturday to the construction site where CCECC workers had been working to register their protest against what they described as insensitivity of the company to the issue of compensation due to them.
They blocked all the entry and exit points to different sites of the company in the locality with rocks forcing workers comprising Nigerians and Chinese to abandon work for the day.
The aggrieved residents are those whose properties were damaged by a twin rock blast carried out by the company in the months of January and February while constructing railway line.
The blast had left many houses shattered, with others suffering serious structural damage, following which the company’s public relations manager, Aminu Mohammed appealed to the affected owners that CCECC would take responsibility for the blast and compensate all the victims adequately.
The first blast took place on January 20, 2014, while the second blast was carried out on February 28, 2014.
The company’s personnel manager, Davids Oladokun, who addressed the protesters apologised on behalf of the company for the damage and discomfort the blasts had caused them.
He gave assurance that the company was working out ways to give adequate compensation to the victims.
Oladokun, who said he shared in the grief of the victims, pleaded with them to exercise patience with the company to reach out to them on Sunday even as he advised against violent protest.
However, not long after Oladokun addressed the protesters, men of the Nigerian Army attached to the site arrived in a Hilux Toyota Van.
The heavily armed soldiers ordered that all the roads earlier blocked by the protesters be removed.
This led to a hot argument during which a digital camera belonging to one of the protesters, Christian Asogwo was smashed by one of the security personnel, while one of the protesters’ spokespersons, Kunle Olasanmi was beaten and whisked away by the soldiers.
Mr. Kunle Olasanmi, Correspondent of LEADERSHIP newspaper and whose house was badly damaged had his shirt torn, even as there were bruises all over his body due to the beating by the soldiers.
Among those whose houses were shattered by the blasts are three journalists, Adelanwa Bamgboye of Daily Trust; Kunle Olasanmi of LEADERSHIP and Yekeen Nurudeen of New Telegraph.