MONROVIA – The National Civil Society Union of Liberia (NACSUL) says it has been following with dismay allegations against the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MANO Palm Oil Plantation, Assad Fadel, that he has been caught instructing his security staff to recruit members of Madina town, Grand Cape Mount County, to stage a counter-protest on his behalf.
According to NACSUL, upon receiving the information, they immediately dispatched a team to the county on a fact-finding mission, in order to ascertain whether or not there is any arrangement of protest or counter-protest at MANO Plantation site.
Releasing his findings to newsmen on Thursday, October 13, 2022, the President of NASCUL, Amos B.S. Kanneh, revealed that the allegation against CEO Fadel is deceptive and a calculated attempt to destroy his hard-earned character.
According to NACSUL’s findings, “On Wednesday, October 12, 2022, a three-man NASCSUL delegation left for Grand Cape Mount County to carry out fact-finding about a rumor that the CEO of MANO Oil Palm was instructing his staff to recruit members of the community to stage a counter-protest against the people of the project-affected communities (PAC) who have asked the company to relocate them or stage a protest.
“The NACSUL fact-finding team met, interacted and interviewed residents of Madina and other surrounding communities. The dwellers were asked whether people had contacted them to carry out a protest, or whether there was news filtering about any upcoming protest by staffers of the MANO Oil Palm.
“However, those we talked to seemed to be unaware of what they were being asked about. They said they were surprised with the news that MANO Oil Palm is planning a counter-protest. They confirmed that they were aware of members of the project-affected communities planning a protest, but denied the allegation of MANO staffers planning a counter-protest.
“According to the residents, the company is not noted for creating havoc; instead, dissatisfied individuals from the communities are the ones always planning protests and disrupting the company’s operations and not vice versa.
“A resident spoken to, Haji Kiadii, said since the government’s intervention some time ago, there have existed cordial working relationships between the residents and the company, with the company living up to its promises to the people. He said the CEO of the company has been trying his best to create a good atmosphere for the people of the surrounding towns.”
The NACSUL findings added, “Another resident, Ma Bendu Sombai, said she was happy that the company is helping their children, and for that she was grateful. She said all she hoped for is a good working relationship between the town people and the company so that they can continue to benefit.”
“From these findings, we are beginning to wonder who tailored the fake recording and claimed it was the voice of the MANO Palm CEO, as it seems like there is no iota of truth behind the story.”
Meanwhile, NASCUL has called on those spreading the “fake” voice recording to desist, as it is not healthy for the democracy and development of the country.
It can be recalled that the management of MANO Oil Palm recently dispelled media reports that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Assad Fadel, is instigating violence at the plantation.
The MANO management, in a press release issued recently, said, “The purported voice recording trending also on social media was doctored (his photo was added to the recording) by a group of anti-investment people. It is unthinkable for a CEO of a company to promote violence at his own site.”
According to the MANO Oil Palm release, “The CEO was responding to information from the proprietor of a private security firm contracted by the plantation on his briefing of how the people of Bomi County were totally against the actions of the PAC (project-affected communities).
“A group of people were demanding, among other things, the dismissal of three employees, as well as instructing the company to employ only citizens from the county.”
The release emphasized, “MANO Palm Oil Plantation Company’s CEO is a peaceful person who values the dignity of every human being. Moreover, he believes in the promotion and protection of human rights.”