Mill owners in Abakaliki rice milling industry have kicked against imposition of leadership on them.
The business owner lamented how the general-manager of Ebonyi Rice World, Mathew Uguru, allegedly of hijacked the leadership structure of Ebonyi Rice Mill, Abakaliki, which stirred crisis in the market.
Not minding that Ebonyi state government, had in June this year dissolved the caretaker committee of Abakaliki Rice Mill Industry, led by Ogodo Samuel over alleged high taxation and extortion.
To this effect, Secretary to State Government/ Coordinating Commissioner Ugbala Kenneth Igwe, in a release issued in Abakaliki, said government will in due course set up a new leadership after due consultations with stakeholders of the industry.
The Miller’s are however, accusing Uguru, of purposely delaying their election by insisting on imposing a new executive on them.
Speaking to Blueprint, Chief Maduka Anigor, a mill owner alleged that the Ebonyi Rice World Manager, maintained that there won’t be a peaceful election unless they concede to his demand.
He further alleged that Hon. Uguru who boasted of his relationship with one of the political chieftains in the state, insisted that Rice Mill owners must allow his choice candidate to rule the Mill or continue to suffer perpetual business bankrupt.
Anigor explained that he has spent not less than thirty years in the milling industry, but lamented that of all the time spent by Hon Samuel Ogodo as their caretaker Chairman, the mill witnessed the highest level of business stagnancy, adding that their customers from rural areas stopped coming to mill their rice due to high taxation and unnecessary extortion by boys allegedly planted by Hon Mathew Uguru.
A trader who gave his name as Mr Sylvester Ugwumba, noted that rice stopped coming to the mill after about a year ago due to excessive taxation by the immediate dissolved caretaker Chairman.
When contacted on phone, the General Manager Ebonyi Rice World, Hon Uguru, said he was not a member of rice mill.
He said: “As a Journalist, do you believe that thing that they told you and besides, I am not a member of Rice Mill.”