By Gabriel Olawale
Former Vice-President of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Monday Ubani; President, Consumer Rights Advocacy Council, Sola Salako-Ajulo; President, Arewa Consultative Youths Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima; rights activist, Agba Jalingo and lawyer, Liborous Oshoma, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to intervene in the feud between Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and GT Bank.
Speaking in Lagos, they said the rift should be resolved in the interest of the nation and in order to boost the nation’s economic potential.
In his speech, Mr. Ubani said: “In the light of this, we concerned Nigerians and civil society leaders, are calling on the Nigerian government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and especially the National Economic Council under the leadership of Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, to step into this challenge with a view to resolving it.
“Innoson Group has over 10,000 indirect workers and over 7,000 direct employees, who apart from earning their living through the parent and subsidiary companies, pay income taxes to the government. Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company is assisting the Nigeria Air Force in fighting Boko Haram by supporting its fighter jets with the fabrication of needed spare parts.
“Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company is also in technical partnership with the Nigerian Army, who have purchased the firm’s armoured vehicles in use in Sambisa Forest.
“We, therefore, urge the government to see the urgency in making sure that this indigenous brand and one of the highest employer of labour in the country is supported and protected for the good of the workers and country.”
On his part, Jalingo said: “The feud between Innoson and GT Bank started some 14 years ago on a purely civil case level but today, these two brands should not just be left to continue to battle for whatever reasons. They are indigenous brands that Nigerians cherish which is why the Federal Government must step in to address whatever that is causing the crisis.”
Also, Oshoma said: “We will also like to advise the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to tread with caution and resist the temptation to get involved in issues they have no business getting involved, especially where several investigations have led to no culpability on the side of Chukwuma and IVM Innoson Group.”
Commenting also, Salako-Ajulo said: “The government should find a way to bring the two feuding parties to a roundtable as consumers are at the receiving end of the crisis.”