The AFAN national president said the items purportedly to be launched by the minister, along with three other ministers, are substandard.
The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabir Ibrahim, has said that the minister of agriculture and rural development, Sabo Nanono, and Farouk Mudi, one of the AFAN members, are colluding to defraud Nigerian farmers by sending letters itemising some inputs for sale at reduced prices to be paid in through Heritage Bank account.
This was disclosed in a statement on Tuesday by Mr Ibrahim.
He said, “It has come to our notice that the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and one Farouk Rabiu Mudi are colluding to defraud Nigerian Farmers by sending letters itemizing some inputs for sale at reduced prices to be paid for in account: All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) 5100311797 maintained at Heritage Bank.
“The account is fraudulently operated in an obscure and unsuspecting bank as can be seen,” he said.
According to him the items purportedly to be launched by the minister, along with three other ministers, are substandard.
“The items purportedly to be launched by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture along with 3 other Ministers are substandard and have been in the warehouses in Keffi and Mando since 2017.
“You will recall that in 2019, we were asked to buy some of them but nobody came forward to do so because they were expensive and substandard.
“Today they are subsidized by 75% and still unpopular and therefore still unsold.
“A small number of these items were illegally given to Farouk Mudi and cohorts FREE OF CHARGE and he is fraudulently trying to sell them to unsuspecting farmers,” he said.
He said, “AFAN is an NGO and as such should not be under the clutch of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to warrant the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and some 3 Ministers converging in an illegal premise to do government business.
“We are suing the minister very soon for carrying out these proven inequities by dealing with Farouk Rabiu Mudi as a bonafide representative of AFAN fraudulently.
“It is ‘sub judice’ for the minister to refer to FAROUK RABIU MUDI as AFAN President since there is a matter pending in court,” he said.
He added that “the Honourable Minister of Agriculture is rated very poor in performance in office by a bulletin in the public domain.
“While the ministry is under probe by the ICPC over the misappropriated sum of 16 billion Naira also in the public domain,” he said.
He advised the farmers to shun the purchase of these items.
“The minister, in cahoot with Farouk Rabiu Mudi, is seeking to perpetuate a charade of input distribution on the 15th October, 2020 to create some semblance of World Food day, an event annually carried out back to back with the Annual Agric Show.
“This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both these events are put on hold or very low key!
“You are all well advised to shun these calls from Farouk Rabiu Mudi and his co-travellers as they smack of fraud as usual,” he said.
The director of information in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Theodore Ogaziechi, was reached out to, in a bid to ascertain the reaction to these allegations in an interview on Tuesday.
The director of information, Mr Ogaziechi, said “I have seen it in the public domain.
“The minister is not here now, or you want me to put him on the phone to talk with you?
“I should go and put him on the phone?
“If you want to address him, come here. If he is in the office, you go and see him to give you his take, is not me that will give you his take.
“You can’t stay over there and call me and expect me to deliver any message on that,” he said.