Chairman, Board of Directors, Elano Investments Limited, Chief Gomba Okanje says Elano was formed as a platform to collaborate with other agencies to help drive development in Eleme local government area.
Chief Okanje stated this while fielding questions from Inside Eleme on the recent renovation project of Eleme Customary Court embarked upon by Elano Investments Limited. He said Elano identifies the judiciary as key aspect of security in the area. He said the project was part of efforts to consolidate on security in Eleme.
His words: “Elano as we are stands for development and the essence why we buy into the acquisition of the Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals during the privatization was because we wanted to use that platform to see how we can partner in terms of development with other agencies in our community of Eleme and beyond, so to us, it was a welcome development and by the special grace of God we have been able to use that platform to assist in trying to see how we can help develop in several key areas of development in the area.
“The judiciary as we are all aware is a very key area when it comes to terms of security and development, if a place is not well secured, you can be rest assured that there will be no development and so we think, we are not only partnering with the Court alone, but other security agencies in our locality to see how we can improve to fight crime and criminality.
You will recall that Eleme has been in the front burner in terms of securing challenges in the state, we have been able to support the agencies who are fighting crime and criminality so, rehabilitating and refurnishing the Eleme Customary Court is just one angle in which we are supporting the judiciary to ensure that crime and criminality is reduced to the barest minimum”, he said.
Speaking further on Elano’s investment in the security of Eleme, he said vehicles donated to the Police Area Command in Eleme are the only patrol vans available for use by the police and wondered what would have been the case but for Elano’s intervention.
“Well, to me, I don’t know what it would have looked like if not for all these supports, but you can be the judge. If we are not able to do all of these for the security agencies, what would they have done? The Area Command, apart from the two vehicles we gave to the Area Command, that is the only functional operational vehicles they are using. So if not for us what would they have done fighting crime and criminality, so you can be the judge; So to me, we will continue to do our best, hoping and believing that our people particularly the leaders, elites see need for us to function in a way and manner that will bring peace and tranquility in our locality because the way we celebrate criminality and crime is something that is worrisome”.
Okanje condemned a situation where some leaders and well-to-do individuals in Eleme support criminality and criminals in the area and even go as far as negotiating for the release of criminals from the police net when caught, based on their selfish interest.
“I think it has to go with a whole lot of issues that surround the way we play our politics, the way we do things in the community because when it comes to gathering people for evil, you will see that people are good in gathering people, but when it comes in terms of supporting the security agencies, you can imagine a situation where prominent leaders of the community will take side with criminals even when the security agencies try to apprehend them, they will go through the back door to see how they can pay or put pressure on the security to release those criminals because one way or the other they are supporting them based on their selfish interest. If this other person is my supporter no matter whatever crime he commits, you go and see how you can put pressure on the security agencies to release him.
“These are part of the issues we are having in our community, so until we realize that we the leaders, we need to contribute into trying to see how criminality can be curbed, differentiating criminals from supporters of political leaders, we will not have peace in our community. So, I want to use this medium to appeal strongly to our leaders to ensure that we are able to see crime and criminality as crimes and not the other way round”, he appealed.
Meanwhile, President General of O-E’la Obor Eleme, Chief (Elder) Israel Abbey has on behalf of the good people of Eleme Local Government commended the Chairman and Board members of Elano Investments Limited for the laudable projects the company has been carryout in Eleme. He particularly thanked Elano for embarking on the renovation of the Customary Court in Eleme, adding that the company’s contributions in the maintenance of peace, security, law and order cannot be overemphasized.
He urged Elano Investments Limited not to relent in the good works of development which they are doing across Eleme Land.