Kaduna indigenes seek redress over toxic fumes, unfair labour practices at Nigerian Breweries

Indigenes of Southern Kaduna under the umbrella name Arewa Youth Movement for Good Governance (AYMGG) have called on the State Government and other relevant authorities to come to their aid to save them from toxic fumes coming from the production facility of Nigerian Breweries Plc (“NB”).

The group accused the brewing company’s Kaduna production plant of sending out toxic odour into the environment which has endangered the lives of residents of Makera, Kaduna South local government area.

Speaking through its chairman, Comrade Ahkodu Ibrahim, the residents threatened to embark on a mass protest against the company to press home their demands as well as seek legal redress.

The group also accused the brewery manager of the Kaduna plant, Mr Abbey Ajayi, of introducing unethical labour practices bordering on tribalism and maltreatment of the indigenes of the host communities.

They said they had sent a petition to the Kaduna State House of Assembly seeking help regarding Mr Ajayi’s unethical activities.

“We have watched with great dismay the negligence of Nigeria Breweries of their host communities. We can no longer fold our hands and watch while the good people of Kaduna, especially those in Makera, Kakuri area die of toxic odour emanating from the company’s production process.

“Since December 2018, the residents of Makera area have been exposed to toxic odour, several complaints have been made but without any redress.

“Pursuant to the above, we have written a petition to the Kaduna State House of Assembly and they have vowed to take serious steps to save the precious lives of Kaduna people.

“As if that is not enough, the Nigeria Breweries Plc in Kaduna State under the management of Mr Abbey Ajayi introduced tribalism in the company, making it difficult for Kaduna indigenes to get even industrial trainee slots in the company, not to talk of jobs and contracts.

“Meanwhile, 80 per cent of the breweries’ personnel are South Westerners. The only few Kaduna indigenes working there face humiliation, especially from the brewery manager’s wife, Mrs Ajayi, as she slaps them publicly when they offend her.

“We have also gotten intelligence report that whereas all corps members posted to Nigeria Breweries were rejected, but Ajayi brought her cronies to serve in the company.

“We challenge NB Plc to a debate at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat on the staff employed, why they don’t take Kaduna people as Industrial Trainee (IT) students and to furnish the union with a list of their contractors.

“We, therefore, call on the Kaduna State government, the state House of Assembly and all well-meaning Nigerians to rise and save Kaduna people. Governor Nasir el-Rufai must as a matter of urgency set up a probe committee to arrest the toxic odour in Makera.

“Kaduna indigenes must be respected and valued in the company. Our IT students and corps members should be accommodated, credible contractors from Northern Nigeria must also be given contracts without sentiments attached,” the group said.

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