Elechi advises rice millers to relocate to new site

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ABAKALIKI – Gov. Martin Elechi of Ebonyi has advised rice millers at Abakaliki Rice Mill to relocate to Iboko, Izzi Local Government Area to avoid forceful ejection by the state government.
Elechi gave the advice in Abakaliki during a courtesy visit to the Abakaliki Urban Forum, an association comprising mainly of non-indigenes residing in the town.
He said that in spite of the fact that the government’s case with the millers was still court, the government was aware of its right and would enforce it at the appropriate time.
“We could have acted since, but issues such as the poor state of the road from Sharon to the new rice mill at Iboko, Izzi, had been restraining us.
“The ongoing work at the road is encouraging and when it is completed in the next two months, we will forcefully eject the millers, if they refuse to relocate.
“I thereby urge the Urban Forum to appeal to the millers to relocate and develop their plots before the road is completed, to prevent being ejected.”
The governor maintained that the decision to relocate the millers to the three new-modern rice mills across the state was to enhance the environmental status of the state capital.
“The pollution caused by the milling activities seriously endangers the populace, especially students of the nearby College of Agricultural Sciences campus of the state university
“People yearn for rapid development but they do not realise that it comes with pains which makes it imperative for certain sacrifices to be made in achieving it.
“The stone crushers, timber dealers and others who were also made to relocate to their permanent sites, resisted at first but are now happy to have taken the right decision of relocating,” he said.
The rice millers dragged the state government to the National Industrial Court, Enugu, over the decision to relocate them from their present location in Abakaliki.
The court, however, ruled in favour of the state government, which made the association to appeal the court’s decision.
The forum’s President, Dr Chester Onuorah, thanked the governor for the visit and enumerated some of the infrastructural strides achieved by the governor since he assumed office in 2007.
“We are reaping the fruits of the unflinching support to the government through the appointment of our members into important offices such as Commissioner and Development Centre Management Committee members, among others,’’ Onuorah said. (NAN)

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