South-East Based Coalition of Human Rights weep over N90 Billion Budweiser/Hero Brewery Investment reports that twenty Pro Human Rights, Civil Society and Good Governance Organizations in South East under the aegis of Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Good Governance Organizations (SBCHRO’s) yesterday raised alarm on the loss of over six hundred (600) direct jobs and over Two thousand (2000) indirect jobs by Ndigbo following the relocation of the Hero brewery to Ogun state.

In a statement issued in Onitsha and signed by the about Twenty organizations including Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law led by Emeka Umeagbalasi, and Civil Liberties Organization South East zone led by Aloysius Attah among others, the SBCHRO’s lamented that a whopping N90B three hundred million dollars Budweiser/Hero Brewery investment was taken away from the heart of South East where it is patronized to South West due to failed political leadership in Igbo land.

Others are Centre for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy; Human Rights Organization of Nigeria;  Society Watch & Advocacy Project ; Anambra Human Rights Forum ;Southeast Good Governance Forum; Int’l Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative ; Igbo Ekunie Initiative ; Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State Branch; Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy & Dev ; Society for Economic Rights & Social Justice ; Initiative for Ideal Dev & Emancipatory Leadership in Nigeria; Igbo National Council ; Forum for Promotion of National Ethos & Values;  Easy Life Initiative for Rural Youths and Voice of the Voiceless Int’l to mention but a few.
The statement read in part: ‘’At the commissioning of the N90billion project on 28th August 2018 with full support and presence of the Governor of Ogun State and members of his cabinet, instant employment of 600 direct or skilled laborers and no fewer than 2000 unskilled or indirect laborers was announced. The employment rate is also expected to hit thousands and tens of thousands for the skilled and the unskilled involving sons and daughters of the Yoruba Nation in coming years; in addition to projected monthly tax payment of hundreds of millions of naira into the coffers of the Government of Ogun State.

‘’Social and economic consequences of loss of the gargantuan N90 billion Brewery investments to Yoruba Nation; on Igbo Nation and her People are innumerable. For instance, Anambra State and the entire Igbo Nation as the largest consumers of the Brewery’s products will now be pumping billions of naira into Ogun and Southwest or Yoruba economy; in the form of “let Okeke buys and drinks, but let Adekunle have the cash”.

‘’More shocking is the fact that the God given brewery located at the heart of the Igbo Nation is now taken more than 150kilometers farther away from the heart of Igbo Land; to the extent that the products of the Brewery will now be produced outside Igbo Land with Igbo money, loaded in containers and long trucks and paid for with Igbo money, procured their trucks with Igbo money, crisscrossed over 150 kilometers from Shagamu (Yoruba Land) to Onitsha (Igbo Land) with sundry security roadblock extortions and government revenue ticket purchases.

‘’The products will now, too, be trans-loaded and offloaded with Igbo money, warehoused with Igbo money and bought and consumed in Igbo Land with Igbo money. It is also most likely that the Company’s original facilities in Onitsha will soon be dismantled and relocated to Shagamu with its zinced structures retained skeletally as its “Onitsha satellite warehouse or depot”. Deep fears also abound over the likelihood of changing the name of “Hero Beer” with its perceived heroic Igbo symbol and replaced with a possible symbol of its new host geopolitical Zone or entity.

‘’It is therefore heartbreaking and condemnable for the affairs of the Igbo Nation to be left in the hands of “apostles of stomach infrastructure and casino bar disco dancers” parading themselves as “elected” and “appointed” public office holders in Igbo Land. It does not border them at all that perpetrators of physical violence, structural violence and cultural violence against the Igbo Nation and her People have sworn never to allow the Race to reap from fruit of their hard labor.

The statement concluded: ‘’Despite controlling over 60% of the country’s trade and investment, yet hash federal and regional policies have remained in place ensuring zero presence of functional international passenger and cargo airports, seaports and wharfs, railways, seaport bridges and roads as well as establishment of diplomatic missions anywhere in Igbo Land. Such age long hash policies are designed to make Igbo Nation and her People mere spectators in the Nigerian Economy with political leaders in Igbo Land chronically circling and recycling political frivolities, irrelevancies, short-sightedness, leprously and brigandage’’.

It also means that “Hero Beer” is very unpopular among citizens of the Yoruba Nation because it is designed to look as if it is Igbo friendly, leading to its rightly or wrongly description  by  some Nigerians including both citizens of Yoruba (negatively) and Igbo (positively) Nations as “Ojukwu De Hero’s Beer”. On the other hand, the products of the Nigerian Breweries such as Heineken, Guilder and Star Beers and Amstel Malt and Maltinasoft drinks, etc and the Nigerian Guinness products such as Stout, Harp and Malta Guinness, etc are found to have recorded high patronage among the citizens of the Yoruba Nation because they are not “Igbo or Ojukwu’s beers and soft drinks”. In many restaurants and hotel bars owned by citizens of Yoruba Nation in Lagos, “Hero Beer and associates” were scantly available whereas in those owned by Igbo citizens, reverse was the case.

Where their availability is high in hotel bars and restaurants of Yoruba citizens’ ownership, it was found to be chiefly on account of large patronage by citizens of Igbo Nation and those of South-south and non Muslim Northern Nigeria. In other areas of the Yoruba Nation with scanty presence of resident Igbo citizens, patronage associated with “Hero Beer and associates” is acutely low. During the recently concluded World Cup tournament in Russia during which Hero Beer’s sister: “Budweiser was the global lead sponsor and beer drink”, most of the patronage in Nigeria was drawn from the same friendly and liberal population of Igbo and other non Yoruba stocks.

In other checks carried out to ascertain the rate or percentage of patronage by citizens of the Igbo Nation concerning products of the Nigerian Breweries and those of the Nigerian Guinness (i.e. Harp, Star, Life, Guilder, Heineken and Stout Beers, etc and Maltina, Amstel and Malta Guinness, etc), the patronage was found unchanged with no sign of discrimination or tagging of same by Igbo citizens as “Yoruba Beers and soft drinks”.

The above analysis is therefore presented here to unmask the age long politics of hatred and discrimination going on in Nigeria especially against the Igbo Nation and her citizens. It is consequent upon these unbecoming treatments against the Igbo Nation and her People that Intersociety had in 2016 identified “physical violence, structural violence and cultural violence” as three hydra headed monsters responsible for ordeal which the Igbo Nation and her People had steadily been facing in the country; with Igbo political leaders worsening the situation byeither playing to the gallery or becoming complicit in same.

‘’It must be remembered that former Governor Peter Obi nearly died in a suspicious plane crash while shuttling in the air in the course of wrestling the strong forces from the Southwest who were bent at ensuring that the “Sabmiller” Breweries was never originally located in Igbo Land; an effort that just paid off in their favor. SBCHROs also has it on good authority that the Budweiser and Hero Breweries Company approached thepresent Governor of Anambra State twice for allocation and acquisition of a larger parcel of land to expand their facilities, but got cold response, forcing them to abandon their third scheduled meeting in frustration, leading to relocation to Shagamu in Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria’’.
South-East Based Coalition of Human Rights weep over N90 Billion Budweiser/Hero Brewery Investment South-East Based Coalition of Human Rights weep over N90 Billion Budweiser/Hero Brewery Investment Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, September 01, 2018 Rating: 5

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