The Ebonyi State Government on Tuesday sealed the Abakaliki Rice Mill Limited over the alleged infiltration of poisoned and adulterated rice into the mill.
The Senior Special Assistant 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 SEC subsequently directed the concerned Ministries, Departments and Agencies of health, agriculture, commerce and industry and internal security to seal the rice mill for full investigations to be carried out.
“The Ministry of Environment, which first 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, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Emmanuel Onwe, noted that the government did not know the source from where the products infiltrated the market and the type of poison involved.
“We do not know whether they are rat or other types 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.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the SSA on Internal Security and other authorities involved in the sealing left the EXCO chambers immediately to enforce the directive.