The member representing Abakaliki South Constituency in Ebonyi State House of Assembly and former Chairman of Ebonyi Rice Mill Industry limited, Chief Joseph Ununu has denied the reports making rounds that he threatened to remove the incumbent Chairman of Ricemill, Mr Linus Obeji when he emerges as the deputy Speaker of the State Assembly.
Barr.Ununu made this known to the Press on Thursday, he described the allegation as laughable and a mere fabrication aimed at tarnishing his image, he maintained that his legislative business has nothing to do with Ricemill industry.
The lawmaker advised the leadership of the industry against taking unilateral decision without involving relevant stakeholders in the interest of peace and oneness.
He, however, faulted the leadership style of using security agents to intimidate and harass members of the industry by the Chairman, Mr Obeji, which he said 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 is 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 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 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 police there, they will run away from the mill.
“We have 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 going to the police command to bring policemen there and start intimidating people in the rice mill”, he stated.