Controversy trails farmers’ N1.77bn donation for Buhari’s re-election

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The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Uche Secondus has expressed his doubts about the capacity of Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) and Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers’ Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) to donate N1.77 billion towards the re-election of the president, Muhammadu Buhari.

RIFAN and FEPSAN, it would be recalled, made the donation Wednesday night during a Gala Night organised by beneficiaries of the government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme which held in Abuja.

The president of RIFAN, Mr. Aminu Goronyo, who announced the donation of N1.2 billion on behalf of rice farmers, said the association has about 12.2 million members and that each member will donate N100 to the campaign.

But Secondus who reacted to the donation at a town hall meeting in Abia State, said with the rate of attacks on farmers, they could not have donated such a huge amount.

He said farmers had vacated their lands because of the clashes with herdsmen which the federal government was yet to tackle effectively.

He said: “Farmers are no longer going to farm. Are they? So, which farmer will support President Buhari?”

In his response, the director of strategic communications of the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr. Festus Keyamo said whoever doubted the legality of the donations should take their complaints to the groups that made the contributions.

“Do you know the individual donations those people made within the association?

“The first thing I will ask you to do is find out how many people are in the farmers’ associations. Break it down per person and see how much that will be. That will answer your question.

“It is a collection of people that make up an association. The association would answer you and tell you how many people contributed one by one. They may have presented it in the name of the association but the individuals definitely contributed to make up that money.

“So, if you go and ask them, they will be very clear to you as to how much each individual contributed. But for the opposition to sit down and just conjure up assumptions without knowing the details smacks of mischief on their part,” he said.

With The Punch report

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