One would expect that when a Company as huge as Coca-Cola settles a PLANT in a Community, the Host community is bound to reap benefits. Unfortunately, that has not been the case with Coca-Cola in Irete.
According to information reaching IMO STATE BLOG , the youths of Irete came out en-mass yesterday to protest against The Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Apparently in the 25+ years of the Company’s presence in the State, Coca-Cola has not made ANY contributions to the host Community of its sole Bottling Plant in Imo.
It is regretable that till date, Irete has nothing to show for the presence of the well established Beverage giant. In Baltimore, Maryland USA as a perfect example, it is widely known that The Coca Cola Company continually seeks ways to improve their host Community. They go out of their way to sponsor community events and initiate ways to foster strong relationships with the Baltimore Community.
So overall, it is safe to assume that all franchise owners must be aware of the Community Relations guidelines for the Coca Cola Botttling company. Why should Coca Cola settle their Plant comfortably in Imo State and forget all rules going contrary to their Mission statement posted boldly on their Corporate website? They tell the world one thing on the Internet and turn around and do the opposite….who knows what else have they been deceiving us with? A few days ago, it was reported that Coca Cola planned to spend $3 Billion in Russia in order to expand its presence there. Also, over the next five years, the Company will invest $30 Billion to support anticipated growth across the business. The investments will include new manufacturing plants, new distribution systems and new marketing investments in emerging economies. Is Imo State on the list as one of beneficiaries?
Anyway, so back to the Irete showdown. Our Source who witnessed the Protest said the Youths marched to the Plant with a Coffin and Masquerade. They took over the Premises and filed all Employees out of the building causing an entertaining scene for onlookers. A well deserved disgrace to an ungrateful Company.
As we learnt, it took the intervention of the Chief of Staff to the State Government, Prince Eze Madumere to quell the situation. We learnt that upon reaching the Venue, he mounted the Coffin and addressed the angry youths in his usual charismatic manner.
Whatever he said seemed to have worked as the youths backed down. However, it shouldn’t end there. The protest was long overdue and as a matter of fact, there should be more of such dramatic Showdowns if the Coca Cola Bottling company fails to reach an agreement with the Imo State Government. Let us keep them uncomfortable till they appease Irete! We refuse to be exploited!!!
Calls made to inquire further on this issue were not immediately returned. We will keep trying till we hear directly from a Spokesperson of the State Government. No company should get away with exploiting any community. Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. What you know you cannot get away with in Baltimore, Russia or Pakistan, do not attempt in Imo State! !
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