The Unity Party (UP) says it is appalled by the unfolding developments in Nimba County, which according to media reports have disrupted the operations of ArcelorMittal at their Mount Tokadi site.
According to the UP, the destruction of the company’s facilities, bridges and other critical pieces of infrastructure by hoodlums is a complete act of barbarity that must not go unpunished.
“We are dismayed over this latest act of madness, especially at this critical period when our Government is exerting all efforts to attract the much-needed foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) to a county that had experienced some of the most devastating effects of the civil war.”
The UP authorities have call for the speedy investigation of the violence and the prompt prosecution of those involved, they said.
The Unity Party authorities call on the leaders of Nimba County to demonstrate “patriotism and truthfulness” by putting their sectarian politics aside as this matter is being investigated.
“The leaders of the county should rise above their differences and other parochial interests and cooperate fully with central government as this shameful act is being investigated, this is an act of sabotage and therefore calls for a united front.”
The UP authorities said, if the reports emanating from some quarters of Nimba County are true that the recent violence was “incited”, then this must be a serious cause for concern.
There can be no justification for the wave and scale of wanton destruction witnessed in Nimba County. We believe this can achieve nothing other than destruction, they stressed.
“We look anxiously forward to the speedy investigation of the violence within the concessions area of ArcelorMittal and the attending devastating consequences.
“We urge the citizens and leaders of the communities affected to be true ambassadors of peace by exposing those responsible for this level of madness.”
The UP further urged the residents of the affected communities and their leaders to beware of the setback that destructive conduct and actions have caused.
“The perpetrators of the violence must bear the full responsibility for any further delays in the implementation of provisions of the Mineral Development Agreements (MDA), since the company will now be constrained to restore the facilities that you have so wantonly destroyed.”
The UP leaders urged the management of ArcelorMittal to immediately halt any further payment of compensation and or benefits to the residents of the affected communities until at such time as all claims are evaluated, verified and validated and the identities of the beneficiaries authenticated.