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Pepsi Leaked Mail: We Are Nigerians; We Are Proud Of Our Indigenous Products - PROTESTERS

IKEJA, LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA - Nigerians came out in large numbers on Friday (yesterday) to protest against the Managing Director (MD) of Pepsi, Zaid Maalouf, wherein he had stated that: "One company will flourish, one will diminish, another will finish. 

"B-brand model of business will either become a temptation for anyone who has a bit money to start own brand in Nigeria, or a curse that ensures no one takes such decision again."

The peaceful protest which started around 12 noon at Seven Up Bottling Company, MotorWays Ikeja, Lagos saw Nigerians carrying placards with the inscription  such as: We are Nigerians, we love our indigenous products, among others.

Speaking during the protest match, the
spokesperson for local soft drinks manufacturers, Ibrahim Olowoporoku said, "We are here to demonstrate support for what indigenous brands have put forward as their vision for development through an innovative and creative business approach."

According to him, "This protest is to ask government to support indigenous brands with legislation that will protect them against external aggression, 

"We want government to know that our aim is to strengthen the economy by creating more and better employment for our youth while supporting improvements in access, quality and cultural pertinence of basic service delivery, in accordance with the aspirations of Nigerians." 

While responding to questions on whether the foreign brands pose a threat to indigenous ones, he pointed out that, "They have been here for ages, and no one is questioning their existence, but in a situation where handlers of the foreign brands begin to use hate speech in their competition messages, I think that is totally unacceptable.

"It is a free market, but we are asking policy makers in Nigeria to come up with a policy that will protect the local brands from unhealthy competition." 

For instance he continued, "The essence of closing the border is to appreciate our own locally made brands. 

Therefore, government  should not allow anything that will amount to hate speech in this market."

Reacting to what they intend to do with respect to recent outburst by one of the conglomerate, he said that, "That is why we're  here and we want Pepsi company to know that our locally made soft drinks are of great standard and Nigerians will not fold their arms and watch someone saying we are a no match in our own market."

Whether they intend to make any formal report to the government, he stated that, "That is why we are here. We want the government to know that we are not happy with the recent outburst by Pepsi company. 

"Therefore, the government should swing into action immediately and call the culprit to order."

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