Ebonyi State has sealed the Abakaliki Rice Mill
Limited over the alleged infiltration of poisoned and adulterated rice
into the mill.
The Governor’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on
Internal Security, Dr Kenneth Ugbala, who announced the state government’s decision at a
news briefing, said that the closure was with immediate effect.
Ugbala noted that the state Executive Council had received the
news of the poisoned and adulterated rice with shock and deliberated
extensively on it to save lives of citizens.
“The Exco subsequently directed the concerned Ministries, Departments
and Agencies (MDAs) of health, agriculture, commerce and industry and
internal security to seal the rice mill for full investigations to be
“The Ministry of Environment, which firstly received the report,
informed us that the products are not fit for human consumption.
“The primary aim of every government is to protect the lives of its
citizens as we want to prevent unsuspecting citizens from purchasing
such products,” he said.
Commenting further on the situation, Sen. Emmanuel Onwe, State’s
Commissioner for Information and Orientation, noted that the
government did not know the source from which the products infiltrated
the market and the type of poison involved.
“We do not know whether they are rat or other type of poisons but the
commissioner for environment quickly dispatched a team to the mill on
receiving the news of the infiltration.
“The team confiscated some samples of the product and they had labels
of ‘not fit for human consumption’ boldly written on them.
“We will not go into the semantics of such labels but any responsible
government should take precautionary measures immediately such
development is discovered.
“This government being a responsible one took the normal,
precautionary step to safeguard its people’s lives,” he said.