BY PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI — THE current leadership of Abakaliki Rice Mill Company has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to take urgent steps to address the illegal intrusion of Ebonyi State government into the affairs of the company to save it from extinction.
It should be recalled that Governor Martin Elechi had in a press conference to mark this year’s Democracy Day in the state, reiterated that his administration would not relent until it drove out the rice millers from their present location.
But in a statement issued in Abakaliki, chairman of the company, Deacon Joseph Ununu, who agreed that they were ready to implement the relocation order by the state government, insisted that they would act accordingly, only if the state government paid them adequate compensation commensurate with the magnitude of their individual and collective investment at the Rice Mill.
He stressed that the reason they were calling on President Jonathan to intervene in the matter was because of his good disposition to farmers and their pains, that a company which had contributed immensely to the growth of agriculture in the country was gradually fading away because of Governor Elechi’s insensitive posture to the plight of the people.
The statement read: “I want to use this medium to inform you, Mr. President that should anything happen to me from this date, Ebonyi State government and her illegally appointed four-man committee should be held responsible; security agencies in the country are hereby notified too.
”That on May 8, 2014, the four-man committee illegally appointed by the state government, hired cultists who invaded our company and caused destruction of property.
“That on May 24, 2014, the Nigeria Police from Ebonyi State police command, vide our petition, arrested a total of 14 armed robbers who perpetrated the act,” among other accusations.