The North East Commodity Association (NECAS), and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), have alleged that no fewer than 110 tractors were carted away by looters in Adamawa in the wake of #ENDSARs protests.
NECAS is incorporated in Nigeria to provide among other services tractor leasing and mechanization service for farmers.
It could be recalled that, in defiance of the curfew imposed by Adamawa State government, looters have extended their activities to private businesses, agricultural storage facilities and government offices.
An official of the North East Commodity Association (NECAS), who is also state chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Adamawa state chapter Mr. Stephen Maduwa disclosed this on Tuesday while fielding questions from newsmen in Yola.
Maduwa said ”A group of young men broke into the NECAS warehouse in Kofare Industrial Area and rolled away several brand new tractors down the streets.
‘’As I am talking to you we are assessing the havoc wreak by these looters; but I can confirm to you that about 110 our tractors were carted away though police and other security operatives and vigilantes are helping us in tracking down the looted items.
‘’ Not only tractors, during this looting spree seedlings, fertilizers and other farm implements meant to be distributed to farmers for the dry season farming have all been carted away by looters,’’ he said.
He is worried that the trend will adversely affect the federal government’s Anchor Borrowers programmes targeted at supporting farmers to ensure food sufficiency in the country.
‘’ With this unruly act, food sufficiency in the northeast can no longer be guaranteed.
” This is no longer the #EndSARS agitation by our youths. Hoodlums have taken over everything. This may lead to hunger in the country because of the looting of our warehouses.
” We have been supporting the federal government’s Anchor Borrowers programme to support farmers but our warehouses were looted, tractors, fertilizers, seedling and so many farming implements carted away by the looters. All the commodity associations in Adamawa state have suffered and it is very unfortunate.” He said.
With this setback Maduwa was worried that farmers and the associations may have challenges in repaying their loans to the Central Bank of Nigeria and is therefore calling on President Muhmadu Buhari and the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele to act swiftly.
” I’m calling on the president of the federal republic of Nigeria and the Central Bank governor to please set up a high powered delegation to come and investigate and also ascertain the damage done to all the commodity associations.
” These inputs and implements are not given to us free, it is a loan and we are not federal government agencies. So we want them to act so that we can know better how to repay the input suppliers and the loan itself. Because if this action is not taken it will lead to food shortage in the country,” he added.
When contacted, police spokesman in the state DSP Suleiman Yahya Nguroje had confirmed the arrest of 155 suspected looters as normalcy was restored.
Nguroje said, ‘’ Normalcy is gradually returning and so far 115 suspected looters have been arrested.
‘’ We thank residents because many are assisting security operatives in recovering the looted items, including tractors though some have since been dismantled,’’ said he.
Sen. Ndume reminds in Prison For Not Producing Maina
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, ordered Sen. Ali Ndume to be remanded in Kuje Prison following Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT)’s refusal to appear for his trial.
Justice Okon Abang gave the order when Ndume, who represents Borno South Senatorial District, failed to file a formal application to show cause why he should not forfeit the bail bond of N500 million deposed to on May 5 to stand as surety for Maina.
The EFCC’s Lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, had, on Nov. 18, asked the court to make an order for the lawmaker to forfeit the bail bond since Maina, who he stood as surety for, had jumped bail.
Abubakar also asked the court to revoke Maina’s bail and issued a warrant of arrest on him.
Although the court granted the applications by the EFCC on Maina, it gave Ndume an opportunity to appear with his legal representation and adjourned until Dec. 23.
Justice Abang, in his ruling, ordered Ndume’s remand pending the time he was able to fulfill the bail bond or produce Maina in court
Kidnapped Nasarawa APC Chairman killed, Dumped Behind His House
Mr Philip Tatari Shekwo, the kinnaped Nasarawa Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been killed by his abductors.
The Police Commissioner in the state Mr. Emmanuel Bola Longe, who confirmed the incident in a telephone interview, said the unidentified gunmen stormed the resident of the APC chairman near Dunamis Church, Bukan Sidi, in Lafia.
Sources told this medium that the kidnappers had killed Mr. Philip and dumbed his corpse behind his house.
The State police commissioner could not be reached for comments as at press time.
Alleged N2b Bribe: Senate President threatens court action against Sahara Reporters
The Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, along with Sen. Mohammed Musa, have given an online publication, Sahara Reporters, a seven-day ultimatum to retract an alleged libellous publication.
Counsel to the Senate President, Mr Ahmed Raji, (SAN), wrote a letter to the media firm on behalf of his client asking it to retract the report within seven days and tender an unreserved apology.
Raji said that the publication was in respect of an alleged false and misleading information on the reappointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The senior lawyer said that the offensive report was published by Sahara Reporters on Nov. 18 with the headline; “How INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, allegedly paid N3 billion to secure reappointment.”
He said that Sahara Reporters alleged that a group led by Lawan collected N2 billion from the INEC Chairman and another N1 billion through another group.
The payment of the money was allegedly aided by Sen. Musa.
The letter reads in part: ”Our clients deny in its entirety the contents of the above publication and innuendoes therein.
“Our clients further state that every allegation against them in the said publication is utterly false and defamatory to their persons and character, Raji Said.
He said that in view of the above declarations, his clients have demanded that Sahara Reporters retract the publication and tender an apology within seven days of receiving the letter.
He further said the media outfit was also to enter into negotiation for damages. (NAN)