But the people and residents of the area while reacting to the alleged proposed Coal milling project, kicked against it on the allegation that the company had not put anything in place to mitigate the likely health and environmental impacts of Coal.
They called on the Nigerian Government’s ministry of environment and its agencies to withhold the issuance of coal milling license to the Dangote cement company in Ibese pending satisfaction of all safety terms and conditions attached to coal milling.
Speaking under the aegis of Yewa Defender Organization, they said there was the need to avert what could turn Yewa area into another Ogoniland or make their people become Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) due to what they feared as looming health hazards and environmental degradation should Dangote Cement plant in Ibese be permitted to use coal as power source via coal milling project instead of diesel.
Addressing reporters at Ayetoro, the Headquarters of Yewa North Local Government Area(LGA) of the state, the chairman of Yewa Defender Organization, Mr Temitope Amusan, said the group would use every legitimate means, including court action, to compel Dangote company to follow due process and put their health and environment into perspectives in its coal milling project in the area.
Amusan also said that the body would not hesitate to drag the company to many international organisations and draw their attention to the dangers they were likely to be subjected to with the proposed coal milling projects.
He lamented that Ibese and other host communities in Yewaland were already suffering from the heavy impacts of limestone blasting by Dangote cement on their houses, farmlands and water wells.
Noting that running a coal milling project in the same area where the residents keep reeling from the hazards of limestone blasting could lead to more devastation and a double jeopardy, Amusan who spoke in the presence of other key members of the group, appealed to the state government to beam its search light on the activities of Dangote company in respect of the said coal milling project.
“Recall that Yewa Defender Organization in July last year intercepted a radio announcement about the proposed coal milling project by Dangote cement plc at its Ibese – Yewa plant. The Federal Ministry of environment had in that announcement actually sent out public notice, (ref: FME/EA/EIA/5232/Vol.1/86,) signed by one Dr. Musa Gashau on behalf of the Hon. Minister requesting for public/stakeholders comments and opinions on the proposed coal milling by Dangote cement plc, Ibese.
“The letter dated 9th June, 2022 was supposed to be accompanied with a draft copy of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for assessment by interested stakeholders and members of the public. After which a mandatory panel review of EIA would take place before the federal ministry of environment grants Dangote cement plc the required license.
“Also note that the notice was supposed to be on display, particularly at the Headquarters of Yewa North Local Government, Ayetoro for 21 days. For unknown reasons, however, the display at the LGA Secretariat lasted for 12 hours,” he said.
The company’s Corporate Head Office was contacted for its reaction, it promised to respond but had yet not responded.
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