The chairman of Abakaliki Rice Millers company, Ebonyi State, Deacon Joseph Nnunu, at the weekend dismissed the rumours making round that a poisonosus rice was being distributed and sold within the Abakaliki Rice mill section of the State, describing it as the handiwork of his political detractors.
Deacon Nnunu, who made the disclosure in Abakaliki while briefing journalists insisted that some persons who are desperate to stop his political ambition are behind the rumor, adding that nobody in the entire state had been reported to have consumed the alleged poisonous rice, became hospitalized and or died.
Nnunu, who is contesting the State House of Assembly election in the state, said the development was put in place to discredit him, his political ambition of running for the position of the member to represent Abakaliki South Constituency at the State House of Assembly come 2019 and put him in a disadvantaged position with the state government.
The embattled chairman who expressed his unalloyed support for the government of Governor David Umahi-led administration, further blamed the development on gimmicks of his opponents in the state who are jittery because of his popularity and success at the mock primaries conducted recently by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the State.
“As we are talking now, nobody in the state has complained about eating any poisonous rice in Abakaliki. How can I allow such to happen having been in this business for more than two decades. I want this matter properly investigated and the culprits brought to book. This rice mill is our legacy and nobody because of political interest or selfishness can rubbish it. I remain an ardent supporter of Governor David Umahi and I cannot work against him and the state. It is my wish to represent my people at the State House of Assembly and if God says yes nobody can say no.
“This case of poisonous rice came into being when I went out of town and I am not happy about it. This mill is the hope of the common man including the elderly. We don’t produce poisonous rice here please.
“Nobody has come to me to complain about our rice. The complainer should prove beyond reasonable doubt.
“Our dear customers should ignore this unnecessary rumour. Abakaliki rice is our legacy and we must protect it against destructive elements. The rice we sell here are recognised internationally because it has international standard; it is very nutritious. Nobody should bring politics into what we eat and feed out children”.
“This is political period and people do anything because they want to win election but they should not do that with our legacy and pride as Ebonyi people. Am coming out to contest because I want to provide hope for my people who are suffering. I want to empower them in cash and kind. They deserve the best and am ready to give them the best come 2019.”