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Chairman threatens to shut down Abakaliki rice mill if…


ABAKALIKI – The Chairman of the Abakaliki Rice Mill Company, Chief Joseph Ununu, has said that the mill will be shut on Monday if the state government implements its directive to change its leadership.

Reacting to a directive to handover to a four-man interim committee, Ununu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Tuesday that if the government decided to use security agencies to eject the management from office, the entire workers would resist the action.

“We will be inside the hall and wait for them to pull down the building on top of us as the whole world will witness the spectacle.

“The whole mill will be shut and real hunger will pervade the land as we hope that the situation will make people to call the government to order,” he said.

The chairman noted that the workers were not afraid of the government as it was an independent body duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

He said the management had constituted an electoral committee to conduct elections on May 28, adding that campaigns had already commenced.

“My tenure will expire on June 2 and I call on the members being used by the government to adhere to the constitution by picking their forms if they are interested to contest and obey all electoral guidelines.

“We have filed a suit against the government’s action, as our constitution does not make provisions for appointments but election into our management positions,” he said.

In his reaction, the Commissioner for Border, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Chief Donatus Ajah, noted that the action was justified to ensure that peace reigned in the mill.

“Some members of the mill forwarded a petition to my office accusing Ununu and his management of embezzlement, non- rendering of accounts and over-stay in office, among others.

“I invited both parties but Ununu refused to come and my office confirmed from security agencies that his tenure has truly expired.

“The confirmation came in form of a document containing Ununu’s profile and a share certificate which he signed as the chairman of the mill on May 2, 2011.

“This shows that his tenure expired on May 2, 2014 which necessitated the appointment of the interim committee to oversee the affairs of the mill and conduct elections,” he said. (NAN)

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