ABAKALIKI – The Ebonyi State Government has removed the Chairman of the Abakaliki Rice Mill Company, Chief Joseph Ununu, following the crisis that engulfed the leadership.
The state government on Tuesday in Abakaliki inaugurated a four-man interim committee headed by Chief Patrick Mbam, to take over the mill.
The Commissioner for Border, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Chief Donatus Ajah, said during the inauguration, that the government intervened to avert the crisis at the mill.
Ajah said Ununu was given one week which expired on May 12, to hand over to the committee, pending the conclusion of investigation in the crisis.
He called on the committee to reconcile all warring factions and conduct fresh elections within three months.
Ununu, in an interview with NAN, explained he did not avoid handing over as was being insinuated but that he travelled.
He said there was no crisis in the mill, adding that his tenure would expire on June 2, 2014, in line with the constitution.
“Our constitution does not allow for appointment but election into leadership positions.
“We have set up a constitutionally approved electoral committee. Those whom the government is sponsoring should adhere to the electoral provisions, if they are interested in contesting, rather than causing crisis,” he said.
Mr Barthlomew Otah, the chairman of Abakaliki Local Government Area, expressed happiness over the inauguration and pledged to ensure that peace returned to the mill.
The chairman of the Interim Committee, Chief Patrick Mbam, thanked the government for the appointment and promised to abide by the terms of reference given to the committee.(NAN)