Adamawa citizen accuses LG chair of diverting agric inputs worth N7.9m to black-market

A citizen of Anguwan Yandang of Mayo Belwa local government of Adamawa State, Mr. Nathaniel Haruna has petitioned governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri accusing the caretaker chairman of the local government, Mohammed Usman Buji of diverting agric inputs worth N7.9 million meant to assist farmers in the area to black-market.

In the petition letter addressed to the governor and sighted by our reporter, Haruna said, the items including Atrazine 359kgs, Royan 142 litres, Buta-chior 259 litres, sprayers 37, Paraquat 428 litres, 2-4-8 Delmire 536 litres, Seed Dressing 523 sachets, Lambda 190 litres and Cypemetrine were all diverted by the chairman.

He noted that the action of the chairman is counterproductive to the aspirations of the governor to assist local farmers in the state.

“I, Nathaniel Haruna, a concerned citizen of Anguwan Yandang, Mayo Belwa Local Government Area, Adamawa State, is reliably informed that in February 2022, the Adamawa State Government deducted the sum of N7,939,344.5 (Seven Million, Nine Hundred & Thirty-Nine Thousand, Three Hundred & Forty-Four Naira, Five Kobo) from the account of Mayo-Belwa Local Government Area for the purchase of Agricultural inputs.

“They include; Atrazine 359kgs, Royan 142 litres, Buta-chior 259 litres, Sprayers 37, Paraquat 428 litrrs, 2-4-8 Delmire 536 litres, Seed Dressing 523 sachets, Lambda 190 litres and Cypemetrine.

“The Caretaker Chairmen were directed that the items (i.e. Agricltural inputs) should be distributed to the farmers at either a subsidized price, free or on loan basis in order to boost agricultural farming in all the twenty one Local Government Areas, Mayo Belwa Local Government inclusive.

“Your Excellency Sir, surprisingly despite your good intentioned directives, Hon. Mohammed Usman Buji diverted the said items to ‘parallel market’ (black market), thus making your laudable initiative a complete failure as those targeted did not benefit from it.

“Kindly, note that Hon. Mohammed Usman Buji who is vested with the responsibility of ensuring effective and transparent distribution of the agricultural inputs to real farmers has hijacked the benefits for his personal gains.

“Sir, it is based on the above flow of events and your laudable efforts towards boosting food security in the State that as a concerned citizen, I humbly urge you to use your highly esteemed office to cause a detailed investigation in to the alleged diversion in order not to bastardize your good efforts in the State,” Haruna said.

I consulted stakeholders before disposing off the items on the verge of expiration – Buji

But reacting to the petition in a phone chat with our reporter, the caretaker chairman of Mayo Belwa local government, Mohammed Usman Buji said he disposed off the agricultural inputs because they are on the verge of expiration noting that the decision was endorsed by the ALGON chairman, ministry of agriculture and PDP stakeholders of the local government.

“The fact of the matter is that we were given the chemicals for onward distribution to dry season farmers. These inputs will expire by next month. So I asked our ALGON chairman and the ministry to tell me the instructions and terms of distributing the chemicals they all directed that I can sell the inputs and use the proceeds for other developmental projects.

“I also consulted the PDP stakeholders of Mayo Belwa local government including the commissioner, member house of assembly and the adviser of the governor who all gave me the green light to sell the items and use the proceeds for developmental purposes.

“Another thing that warrant disposing off the items is due to the fact that we have fewer dry season farmers in the area. Several local governments have also sold off the inputs to get money to develop their areas.

” Chairman of Toungo local government who is the ALGON chairman said he repaired over 150 boreholes with the proceeds of the agricultural inputs.

“Due to serious constraints of funds, in Mayo Belwa, we deemed it right to deploy the proceeds to start some projects including filling the worn out shoulders of Mayo Belwa highway which is currently ongoing.

“We are also repairing the roads that lead to cattle market and cemetery. We also used part of the money to construct a pavilion for the agric show that will take place in Kaduna.

“Let me reiterate that there is no instruction compelling us to share the items to anybody. But you know in political circles the rumour mill is a strong industry because detractors must fault whatever you do. They are only depicting where you have challenges but will never promote the good tidings you brought.

“I’m going to be two months old in office tomorrow and in the course of these two months, I attracted projects from the federal government worth about N150 million but our detractors won’t acknowledge the feat.

“As someone who worked in private organization, I would carry out projects that will bring development to the local government. But I know how the local government operates because Christians are always fighting Muslims and Muslims are always fighting christians and they want to introduce religious politics in the affairs of the local government.

“But I must tell them that I came here to serve and I can only serve within the limitations of my resources. I have gone to the African Development Bank and solicited for road project. They have cited a veterinary clinic which is at the foundation stage now. They also awarded a road project and said they will not pay compensation.

“I called ward heads and village heads and instructed them to consult with their people and if the people agree then we will do it, otherwise, we will take it to another area. But my fear is that if I shift it people will say it is based on marginalisation because there are more christians in the area,” he said.


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