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Fertilizer Subsidy: How APC In Adamawa Subortaging Govt Efforts

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Barely a month ago, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in Adamawa State fingered the opposition All Progressives Congress, (APC) of diverting Federal Government Support Program; Conditional Cash Transfer, (CCT) to score political gain, another accusation has emerged.

The PDP led administration has again alleged that, the APC, in it’s bid to de-market governments laudable projects has hijacked sales of subsidized fertilizers to the state’s farmers.


The backbone of any agricultural revolution is access of farmers to modern agricultural inputs, especially fertilizers and seeds. For decades, successive governments in Nigeria procured and distributed fertilizers.
As is the case, rich and powerful political farmers have always hijacked the subsidized fertilizers.


The powerful politicians have formed the habit of hijacking ferlilizers for their selfish interests.


To put it bluntly, government was not subsidizing farmers; instead it was subsidizing corruption. Farmers’ powerlessness worsened as high quality fertilizers they need to raise their farm productivity were taken over by the elite, the rich and politically powerful.


To reach farmers directly with fertilizers, the Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri administration purchased liquid fertilizers since the federal Government would not allow the State access the commodity for what it describes as security concerns.


The idea was to bypass middlemen and reach farmers directly. Just as the Government launched the programme at the cost of 4 thousand naira, politicians bombarded the markets with the same product at a subsidised price lower than the government’s.
The question is how did it happen?

A Government source who spoke on condition of anonymity told news men that a Federal Government agency, National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), earlier this year brought to the state fertilizer to distribute to farmers. Unfortunately, the fertilizer was not distributed to farmers rather, it was diverted to fertilizer merchants in the party, the APC.

What seems to be continuation of politicking by other peoples negative means started manifesting some weeks ago after the flagging off sales of fertiliser to farmers by Gov. Fintiri at the rate N4,000. This has been the yearly routine of administration since inception.

Our source noted; “now political clouds are gathering for campaigns, the APC will not fold its hands and watch PDP endear more political roots in the people. That is why they started flooding the market the fertilizer originally meant to be distributed by NEMA. The fertilizer is being sold at N1,500”. By this act, the APC intends to sabotage government efforts as well as pitch the people against the government.

Further investigations also reveals that, the market price of a liter of an organic fertilizer like, Foliar Plus Complete is N6,000, even as the company is under going promo, it is being sold at the subsidized rate of N4,999.

Accordingly, the source is asking several questions; “Which market did these marketers got their products? And why was it initially pegged N8,000 and suddenly reduced to N1,600? Why was it not sold earlier as at the time it was brought by NEMA? Why wait till the time PDP started her routine programme? Is it a case of sabotaging government efforts?”

Some farmers alleged that it is one of the many strategies of APC to downplay the Governor Fintiri led PDP administration’s goodwill to farmers for political gains. “Since the inception of Fintiri administration, agriculture has been given priority and we get our fertilizers subsidized by the government, annually. This was not the case when APC was in government. So I don’t see any reason they are trying to sabotage government efforts. They should know that, when the two elephants fight, it is the grass that will suffer.

Some farmers who spoke to journalists on this said, the substandard products have also entered the market. One of such farmer is Adamu Garba, a rice farmer from Fufore LG who patronized the product sold by marketers who allegedly brought from NEMA. He complained that when he used the product, there was no result. “I bought mine last year from the state government, and it was very effective, I had bumper harvest. But this season, I was told by some marketers who bought from NEMA that it is cheap, I decided to try it, now I am regretting,” he said.

Citizens of the state who are watching the de-marketing strategy of the opposition have called on the farmers to consider the popular African saying that; ‘Awof de run belle’.

Attached is the price of one litre of Foliar Plus Complete. Farmers are urged to equally google it as well, to ascertain the market price to appreciate the effort government is making.

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Politics

Rivers Political Crisis: Northern Group Calls For Calm, Urges People To Be Law-Abiding

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By Sani Adamu Hassan

A Northern Group Sahelian Youths Forum for Good Governance and Advocacy has call on people of Rivers State to remain calm and law-abiding citizens in the face of the political crisis that has engulfed the state in recent days.

The call was made by the National President of the forum Comrade Aminu Harsanu Guyaba during a press conference held at the NUJ Press Center, Bauchi on Thursday.

According to the group, “Your governor is committed to your welfare and will continue to do everything possible to protect you and your properties. The SYFGGA stands in solidarity with you and assures you that we will continue to advocate for good governance and the rule of law.”

Comrade Aminu Harsanu Guyaba, National President, SYFGGA who addressed the Journalists on behalf of the group stressed that,”Let us all support Governor Siminalayi Fubara in his quest to build a better Rivers State. Together, we can overcome the challenges and create a brighter future for all.”

According to him, “We are gathered here to commend and show our immense support for His Excellency, Governor Siminalayi Fubara, for his recent bold and commendable decision to swear in local government caretaker committee chairmen. This decisive action was taken despite the attempts by former chairmen to cling to power even after exhausting their constitutional limits.”

The group stressed that,”Since assuming office on May 29, 2023, Governor Fubara has demonstrated exceptional leadership and an unwavering commitment to the progress and development of Rivers State.”

“His administration has been marked by numerous achievements that have positively impacted the lives of the citizens. From infrastructure development to healthcare improvements and economic empowerment, Governor Fubara’s dedication to serving the people of Rivers State is evident in every step he takes,” It added.

The group further stated that,”We appreciate Sir Siminalayi Fubara for his doggedness and resilience in the face of challenges. It is disheartening to see that some unscrupulous elements are working behind the scenes to distract him from the good work he has been doing.”

It added that,”These elements, having exhausted their own tenure, seek to continue exerting control over the state. This is not only undemocratic but also detrimental to the progress and stability of Rivers State.”

The Group called upon Mr. President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who himself served as a two-term Governor of Lagos State, to address the pressing issue because he understands the implications of external control over a Governor and the potential harm it can cause to the state’s governance and development.

“We urge Mr. President to use his good office to ensure that Governor Fubara is allowed to govern without undue interference,” It stressed.

The group added that, “Furthermore, we call on the National Assembly to urgently look into the matter in Rivers State. It is imperative that Governor Fubara is given the space to work diligently for his people and provide them with the dividends of democracy. Legislative intervention is crucial to maintaining the sanctity of our democratic processes and ensuring that the will of the people is respected.”

It stressed that,”As a Northern group, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to the newly appointed caretaker committee chairmen. We urge you to perform your duties diligently and to uphold the confidence that His Excellency has placed in you. Your role is pivotal in supporting the governor’s vision and ensuring the continued progress of Rivers State.”

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2027 Elections: Stakeholders Charge INEC For Early Preparation, Sensitization

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By Ladi Dapson, Maiduguri 

Stakeholders have urged the Independents National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review its operations ahead of the next electoral cycle, saying there is a need for early engagement with grassroots to build trust and confidence in the electoral system.

They also urged the National Assembly to ensure the completion of the amendment of the Electoral Act and the review of the Constitution, at least two years before the general election.

The District Head Maisandari, Abba Bukar, speaking during a town hall meeting with the theme: Peacebuilding, Climate Resilience, and Indigenous Strategies in Borno State,” held in Maiduguri.

He maintained that a diverse group of stakeholders has come together to reflect on the outcomes and learnings of previous general elections, advocate sustainable peace, and strengthen democracy.

According to him, such moves would enable all stakeholders and citizens of the country to fully understand the changes made to the laws for effective implementation and compliance.

“Election play a crucial role in our democratic values, it is everyone’s business and INEC should review their approach so that we can have peaceful and acceptable elections,”

The Senior Programme Officer, National Orientation Agency (NOA) Borno State, Mohammed Bukar highlighted the need for early preparation and increased sensitization and awareness creation on voter education and the Electoral Act 2022.

“It has been over a year since the general elections in most Nigerian states took place. I think this kind of multi-stakeholder engagement seeks to reflect and share indigenous approaches deployed during the last election, key successes, and lessons learned for improvement in future elections.” 

The Consortium Manager, of SOS Children’s Villages in Nigeria, David Gabriel said the town hall meeting aimed to underscore the seriousness of SOS Children’s Villages for credible and transparent elections in the country.

“We want to review community strategies that worked during last year’s elections and to get their feedback as well as their observations, and that’s why we converged all the stakeholders in the place today. We have INCE, security agencies, traditional and religious leaders, market associations, women’s groups, youth groups, students, and Persons Living with disabilities.

“We want the future elections to be participatory, inclusive, and peaceful. The new things we should be expecting will see community-driven action, it is much better when community people drive the process. 

Based on the conversations that happened here today, you could see that before the elections, during after the elections each group had something that contributed to the conduct of the elections we have had.

Mr. David noted that the stakeholders expressed commitment to working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure the recommendations from the town hall meeting are incorporated into the ongoing efforts to strengthen electoral processes and promote sustainable peace and democracy.

“As they leave here today they would be working towards ensuring that they participate in the processes to get better results in their communities and the state at large,” David noted.

The project was funded by the European Union and implemented the European Union Support to Democratic Governance Programme in Nigeria (EU SDGN II) in collaboration with SOS Children’s Villages.

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Party Dispute: APC North West Zone To Resolve Internal Issues

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By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna

Following suspension of Party members and counter Suspension of Party members from party excos from national level down to ward level in the zone .

APC North West Stakeholders have held a meeting 19th May 2024 at the Murtala Square, under the chairmanship of the Coordinating Governor of the North West Zone, Senator Uba Sani.

In a Communique read by Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna state,the Communique read in part.

“The meeting took a critical look at the state of the party in the North – West, activated its internal dispute resolution mechanism to resolve pending issues, and charted the pathway to a more formidable zonal structure that will ensure victory for our dear party in future elections.

“The Meeting commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR for his steadfast commitment to the fulfilment of his campaign promises to the Nigerian people. The meeting noted the decisive steps so far taken by the President in tackling Nigeria’s multitude of security and developmental challenges, and the far-reaching reforms he has initiated to reflate the economy and combat soaring inflation.

“The meeting observed that Mr. President’s Development Agenda has positively impacted the North West Zone, especially in the areas of Human Capital Development, Agriculture, Education, Poverty Alleviation, and Infrastructural Development.

“The meeting equally commended the various security agencies working tirelessly to maintain and enhance security in the zone.

“The meeting further stated that in view of the enormity of the developmental challenges facing the North West, stakeholders from the zone will continue to seek the gracious support, assistance and intervention of Mr. President.

The communique furher read “In view of Mr. President’s undiluted support and assistance to the North West, stakeholders called for continued support for President Tinubu’s administration as he strives to steady the ship of the Nigerian State. The challenges are enormous, but Mr. President is tackling them with courage and uncommon commitment.

“The meeting commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honorable. Tajudeen Abbas, Deputy Senate President, Senator Jibrin Barau, and Senators and Members of the House of Representatives for crafting and vigorously pursuing the passage of the North West Development Commission Bill. The meeting urged members of the National Assembly to give the bills expeditious consideration in the interest of national cohesion and even development.

“The meeting wishes to commend Mr. President for his commitment towards the speedy completion of key projects in the North West Zone, including the Abuja – Kaduna – Kano Highway, the Sokoto – Badagry Road Project, the Sokoto – Zamfara – Katsina – Kaduna Road Project, the Kano – Katsina Dual Carriageway, the Ajaokuta – Kaduna – Kano Gas Pipeline, the Lagos – Kaduna – Kano – Katsina – Maradi Rail Project. These projects have the potentials of boosting economic activities, mitigating poverty, enhancing security, and helping in the forging of understanding and friendship among the citizens of Nigeria.

“The meeting while acknowledging the efforts of the political leaders from the zone in promoting development in the region hereby calls on them to put more efforts to further enhance the political fortunes of the zone in order to maintain the political dominance of the zone in Nigeria’s political landscape.

“The meeting commended the National Leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for their sustained commitment to the ideals of democracy, with particular recognition to members representing the zone in the party’s national leadership.

“The meeting equally recognized the efforts of the Ministers, Special Advisers and Presidential Aides from the zone in supporting Mr. President to deliver on the Renewed Hope Agenda.

“The meeting further commends the commitment of APC faithfuls and the resilience of the populace in the zone and urges them to continue to support the government at all levels.

“The meeting commended the Coordinating Governor of the North West, Senator Uba Sani for hosting the Inaugural Stakeholders Meeting and demonstrating commitment to the unity and progress of the APC in the North West Zone.

“The meeting also commended Governors Dikko Radda (Katsina State), Umar Namadi (Jigawa State), Nasiru Idris (Kebbi State), and Ahmad Aliyu (Sokoto State) for their credible leadership in their respective states.

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