By Chioma Gabriel
A coalition of civil society and good governance organisations in the South-East under the aegis of South-East Based Coalition of Human Rights & Good Governance Organisations, SBCHRO’s, yesterday, raised alarm on the loss of over 600 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs by Ndigbo following the relocation of the Hero Brewery to Ogun State.
In a statement issued in Onitsha and signed by over twenty organisations including Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law led by Emeka Umeagbalasi, and Civil Liberties Organisation South-East zone led by Aloysius Attah among others, the SBCHRO’s lamented that the N90 billion ($300 million) Budweiser/Hero Brewery investment was taken away from the South-East due to failed political leadership in Igbo land.
The statement read in part: ‘’At the commissioning of the N90 billion project on 28th August 2018 with full support and presence of the Governor of Ogun State and members of his cabinet, instant employment of 600 direct or skilled labourers and no fewer than 2,000 unskilled or indirect labourers were announced.”
On the feelings of the people of the South-East over the development, the group said: ‘’It is therefore heart-breaking and condemnable for the affairs of the Igbo nation to be left in the hands of ‘apostles of stomach infrastructure and casino bar disco dancers’ parading themselves as ‘elected’ and ‘appointed’ public office holders in Igbo land. It does not border them at all that perpetrators of physical violence, structural violence and cultural violence against the Igbo nation and her people have sworn never to allow the race to reap from the fruit of their hard labour.”
In conclusion, the coalition recalls the initial successful efforts to attract the company to the East thus: “It must be remembered that former Governor Peter Obi nearly died in a suspicious plane crash while shuttling in the air in the course of wrestling strong forces in other parts of the country, who were bent on ensuring that the “Sabmiller” Breweries was never originally located in Igbo land, an effort that just paid off in their favour.”