By Antoinette Sendolo
Following the recent violent incident at the Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) Plantation in
Butaw, Sinoe County, the company says it will bear the cost for damages done during the incident.
Recently it was reported that some citizens of the area staged a violent protest resulting to some damages done on the facilities of the company.
Following the act, the government of Liberia and others condemned the violence perpetrated on the company. As a result, the government in denouncing the act said it would use the county development funds to repair the damages done to the company.
But at a press conference yesterday in Monrovia, the company through its head of communication, Mr. McGee Virgil, said it will not take any funds from the government of Liberia to replace the damages at the company.
“We will not accept any funds from the government to replace the damages at GVL; it’s our responsibility and not to take money that is intended for the development of the county to replace the items that were damaged. The county development funds should be used to build schools and health centers for citizens of the county rather than giving it to GVL,” Mr. Virgil stressed.
GVL’s head of communication noted that the company is collaborating with the Liberia National Police and the Justice Ministry to resolve the issue in order for them to return to their normal working activities.
He said the company has had a very smooth working relationship with the people of Sinoe County and they have no plans of ending their operations in that part of the country due to the action of some of the citizens.
Mr. McGee also called on the government of Liberia to speedily investigate the recent violent protest at the Golden Veroluem Liberia Plantation in Butaw, Sinoe County.
He said government should take a look at every angle surrounding the incident and not just the Butaw youths adding that though there might be some members of the group who were involved in the protest, the company is sure that it was not the entire Butaw Youth Association that was involved.
Recently, some members of the Butaw Youth Association staged a violent protest at Golden Veroluem Liberia Plantation in Butaw, Sinoe County demanding an immediate meeting with a top GVL official. The company’s management in response to the Association’s communication, requested to schedule the meeting for an appropriate time on grounds that the top GVL official was in the midst of a management’s coordination meeting at the time.
Following the communication which did not satisfy the youths, entrances of GVL were barricaded by the Butaw youths thereby impeding the movement of vehicles and employees, while stones were thrown at managers and facilities. Several company vehicles were damaged during the protest, while others sustained body injuries and properties looted, thus causing dozens of GVL employees to flee into the bush for safety.
The beginning of the complaint by the Butaw youths stemmed from an ongoing boundary dispute between Butaw and the neighboring community of Murrysville. GVL indicated in a previously released statement that its corporate policy and international standards dictate that the companies should not expand into areas with boundary disputes.