By PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI — GOVERNOR Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State, yesterday, accused all former investors in Nigeria Cement Company, Nkalagu, NIGERCEM, of dishonesty towards sustaining the objective behind the establishment of the company.
He insisted that the intentions of the core investor of NIGERCEM, IBETO, were hypocritical, even as he declared that “IBETO should get out of NIGERCEM” and leave the company for the people of the state.
Elechi, who stated this during a townhall meeting at the Women Development Centre, Abakaliki, revealed that he was not at war with Sir Cletus Ibeto but rather with his unprofessional antecedents on issues bordering on cement production and distribution in the country.
He said: “To disabuse the minds of people that I am not at war with Sir Cletus Ibeto; he is my personal friend and each time we meet, we embrace; not handshake, but we embrace to show the fondness existing between us; but we can’t discuss NIGERCEM. My position is that he should get out of NIGERCEM.
“The impression that we don’t want Anambra people there is regrettable because one of those who spoke during the rally at Onueke said we don’t want Anambra people there.
Why we don’t want IBETO is not because he is from Anambra, we don’t want him because of what he is with regard to cement manufacturing.”
According to him, the state government is not prepared to leave the potentials of NIGERCEM into the hands of mischievous investors.
He said the government was committed to utilising the natural deposits at Nkalagu in Ishielu Local Government Area to the betterment of every citizen in the state and that it would bring in credible investors into the company when the time was due.
“Our position is this, our God-given mineral resources in Nkalagu has not been used to our own profit; it has not given us the grandstanding we deserve in the contemporary sphere of solid or liquid mineral exploitation in Nigeria.