20 dead in cement plant carnage

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Nigeria: A disagreement between two workers at the Dangote Benue Cement factory in Gboko, Benue State escalated into a full-scale blood-bath on 17 August 2011, leading to reports of 20 deaths and the destruction of 154 trucks and 60 cars belonging to the company. Gboko itself has become a 'ghost town' after residents fled the town.

The violence started following a simple disagreement at a snack stand between two co-workers, a truck driver, named locally as Suleiman and the operator of the snack stand reported to be a Miss Kwaghkure. Apparently an agreement for Suleiman to be granted credit turned sour when he became unable to pay his debt and slapped Kwaghkure. This prompted an escalation in violence between those supporting the two parties and soon spread into full-scale looting of the plant, halting production.

Violence spread to the nearby town, where banks came under attack and the carnage even spilled out onto the local highway where innocent commuters were robbed. It is not known whether Suleiman or Kwaghkure are among the dead.

The plant's general manager (finance), Mike Etu, ruled out a tribal or religious dispute, saying it was purely driven by the interests of those involved. He lamented that although Dangote had been operating with the interest of the host community at heart, it had been under constant threat from cement looters. He expressed severe regret over the events and gave condolences for the dead and those affected by the incident.Dangote had previously ramped-up its security arrangements at the plant following smaller disputes.

Last modified on 22 November 2011

URL: https://globalcement.com/news/item/495-20-dead-in-cement-plant-carnage

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