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Taraba: host community kicks as Gov Ishaku moves to sell Beverage company 

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Taraba: host community kicks as Gov Ishaku moves to sell Beverage company 

Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo

The leaders of Kakara, the host community for Mambila Beverage Company Limited on the Mambila Plateau in Sardauna local government area of Taraba state, has kicked against plans by the state government to privatize the tea company days before the expiration of the governor’s tenure in office.

Chairman of the host community Alhaji ABDULAHI ABDULKARIM, who signed the statement noted that the said privatization was in all ramifications against every established protocol and not in any way for the good of the people or the company.

Taraba: host community kicks as Gov Ishaku moves to sell Beverage company 

Abdulkarim noted that over the last seven years, the state governor Darius Ishaku, through the Chief Executive Officer of Taraba Investment and Property Limited Mr Ezekiel Iremiah has show obvious desperate desire to take over the company by ensuring that all the top management staff were strictly his kinsmen.

He alleged that after investing Billions of state funds into making the state owned company viable, the governor wants to take ownership of the company through the back door and vowed that the host community will do everything to resist such a move as it was against public interest.

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“The audited report of the company must first be made public to establish the company’s proper corporate governance and transparency. Nothing is publicly heard of this, except desire to buy or sell the company. Your claim of certain “mischief makers” existing and claiming “particular community” ownership of the company is clearly designed to blackmail the host community for asking for their rights to resource control and due compensation and equitable treatment by Government at all times in accordance with our national Constitution and global legal requirements.We urge you to shun the path of blackmailing the host community. We believe that you have no intention to polarize or antagonize the host community under pressure from daylight marauders. The company is not in such danger as framed or implied by your notice.

“The improper sale of the company signals ill-will and regression for us the host communities who have often been disregarded in the past. The company is worth more than the kobo-worth we have been informed it is to be sold for. We know how much the Lipton Tea in Mambilla Was sold for and cannot compare with the better and larger Mambilla Beverages Company in the same area.

“We are not convinced about the Government’s sincerity, seeing that the Government-owned cucumber company was not saved by any “sale” or “privatization” scheme.Band so the desire to corner properties or divest the people of beneficial assets for anyone’s personal interests, political or economic, is not acceptable.

“We reject the plan in its entirety and caution you on the ripple effects which include the short-change and impoverishment of the people of the area and their attendant effects. Take a cue from the Cucumber Company in Jalingo established by this very Government and in which billions were sunk and wasted in a poor privatization scheme. Did it survive? Is it not stone dead now? Has the premises now not been merely handed over to the Taraba University? The planned sale of the Mambilla Beverages is meant to commence the liquidation of the company the same way the Cucumber Company has gone. Political machinations do not help company management.

“This decision is ill-timed, ill-motivated and ill-advised. Why is the company in a hurry to sell out at the dying minutes of this regime? We call on you to shelf that plan to dispose of the company in a clearly ill-advised manner at this last minute. Allow the thriving company to continue to blossom without unnecessary and uncalled for controversies. We further call on you to rescind the ill-advised decision at this suspicious last minute and save the people of this State unnecessary shortchange glaringly over-brooding this move” the statement read in parts.

He further warned that “if these conditions are not satisfied and the Government just wants to sell off or buy off, whichever the body language portrays now, we shall not swallow the bitter pills like voiceless subjects of an obdurate autocracy again.We shall not be part of any arrangements made to surreptitiously and uncannily corner the company which holds much for our future in this land. We shall resist vehemently”.

Our correspondent recall that Mr Ezekiel had earlier informed the press that the state government has commenced the sensitization process to enlighten the people on why they should embrace privatization move but most people seem to remain very skeptical about the government’s genuineness of purpose for the proposed sale of the company

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