Ebonyi Lawmaker Warns Against Taking Unilateral Decision Without Involving Stakeholders In Abakaliki Rice Mill.

Source: Mbam Ogodo, Abakaliki.
Click for Full Image Size
Chief Joseph Ununu

The member representing Abakaliki South Constituency in Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Chief Joseph Ununu has warned the leadership of the Ebonyi Rice Mill Industry Limited against taking unilateral decisions without involving relevant stakeholders in the interest of peace and oneness.

Chief Ununu, the former Chairman of Ebonyi Rice Mill Industry Limited gave the admonition while reacting to the publications in some sections of the media which accused him of threatening the leadership of the Rice mill industry led by Mr Linus Obeji.

The legislator who was elected for his second term in office in the just concluded election described the allegations as unfounded as he could not have been against a leadership he played a key role to institute.

He, however, faulted the leadership style of using security agents to intimidate and harass members of the industry.

He noted that the action of the Chairman could affect the activities and smooth operation of the industry and scare rural farmers away who constitute greater customers to the company.

"Abakaliki Rice mill industry is of great interest to all of us, it is a place that feeds the whole nation. It is not a place one can toil with. If the Chairman discovers that there are sharp practices in the mill, he shouldn’t take it up alone. He should carry all the stakeholders along in it. I have governed that rice mill company for two good tenures and God elevated me to the House of Assembly.

"We are about nine patrons of the company, the past leaders of that company must be carried along in whatever that is going on in the company so that we join hands and discuss the way forward instead of him killing the mill. We, the stakeholders of that mill are annoyed over his leadership. He is deviating from what we told him to do there.

"Instead of him looking for a way to make that mill more productive, he wants to use trouble to indict people. He should stop harassing people in the mill.

"The Chairman should stop using police to intimidate members of the rice mill. The constitution of the mill frowns at it. You must explore the internal mechanism of resolving issues arising from the mill first. You don't use police in your governance in the rice mill, people will run away from the mill. If people coming from rural areas see the police there, they will run away from the mill.

"We have a rice mill police station in the mill, if there is any fraud committed in the mill, the police station is the right people to handle it and not go to the police command to bring policemen there and start intimidating people in the rice mill", he stated.

Chief Ununu further denied that he threatened to remove the Chairman, Mr Obeji, when he emerges as the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, describing the allegation as laughable and a mere fabrication aimed at tarnishing his image as his legislative business had nothing to do with the Rice mill industry.

On the allegations that Ununu used the company's bank account to borrow about 10 billion Naira for his self-aggrandisement, the lawmaker demanded the Chairman of the rice mill industry should prove whether he handed over the company's liabilities to him or not before the general public and not to hide under the carpet to castigate his good repute for no just cause.

Chief Ununu, however, recounted his achievements when he served as the Chairman of the industry, saying he awarded scholarships to indigent students from the 100 level to their final years in different tertiary institutions, built structures in the mill, bought staff buss, drilled pipe boreholes, gave financial assistance to the people,e, especially the vulnerable ones, paid workers' salaries, built the rice mill gates, renovated the new office, drilled drainages, built perimeter fences, which according to him made Governor David Umahi award complete fencing of the rice mill and above all, ensuring peaceful co-existence among the millers and customers, attracting patronages from people in and outside the state.

He, therefore, urged the Chairman to redress his steps by involving the critical stakeholders of the rice mill industry when the need arises to continue moving the company forward.