Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, through his company, Dangote Industries Ltd, has formally distanced its firm of any connivance in the haulage of youths (Almajirai), from Northern Nigeria to the Southern parts of the country, especially the South-East geo-political zone.
The company, in a letter addressed to the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, dated May 27, 2020, titled, ‘Allegation of Illegal Haulage Against Dangote Industries Ltd.,’ profusely denied any linkage with the widely-reported mass movement.
Chief Nwodo had recently expressed concern at the involvement of vehicles belonging to Dangote’s Companies, in illegally moving almajirai and persons suspected to be well-trained terrorists to the South-East and advised him to halt it.
Responding to Chief Nwodo’s admonishment, the company in a letter signed by the Group Chief (Branding and Communications Officer), Anthony Chiejina, “categorically denies these spurious and misleading allegations, and hereby calls upon the public to disregard such reports.”
The company however solicited the assistance of the general public in the fight to rid the organisation of illegal haulage activities being perpetrated by some unscrupulous persons using its trucks.
According the Company, Dangote trucks are permitted to transport only the following materials, Dangote cement, limestone, high grade Gypsum and coal, as well as Sugar, Dangote Salt and Dano seasoning, and Dangote branded sacks and bags.
In the letter to Ohanaeze, it urged the general public to report any Dangote Truck driver involved in illegal haulage supported with credible evidence of such act.
In the letter, the company said it has alerted the police and other law enforcement agents to arrest any Dangote driver and his assistant caught in the act.
Recall that even with the lockdown in inter-state movement and the presidential 8pm to 6am curfew, hundreds of Northern youths, who pretend to be Almajirai have been moved to the South-East in trucks belonging to the Dangote firm.
A lot of the youths have hidden under the cover of goods and animals, cleared to be hauled around the country under the lockdown restriction guidelines.
The situation created panic in the region, with some even expressing fears that the mass movement of youths Southwards may have far reaching security under tones.
Recall also that Dangote has no company in the South-East or the Eastern flank of the country as a whole inspire of establishing mega billion dollar industries in other parts of the country and in Africa, fuelling speculations that Alhaji Dangote is an Igbo-hater as there are several mineral deposits which can sustain any brand of his industrial interests in the zone.
Also, Nigerians express worry that his trucks are usually overloaded and are the main cause of road failures in the country, yet, he does not have any discernible Corporate Social Response to such damage on the nation’s badly damaged highway, mainly caused by his numerous trucks.