We’ve raised N1.2bn for Buhari’s campaign — Rice farmers

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The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria and Fertilizers Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria said they have raised N1.2bn to support the re-election campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari in next year’s presidential election.

The groups stated that the money was realised through individual donation of N100 each by their members.

The President of RIFAN, Aminu Goronyo, disclosed this on Wednesday night at a gala organised by beneficiaries of the government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.

He said, “With a membership of about 12.2 million and with each member donating N100 to the campaign, we were able to raise the N1.2bn.”

The Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, said Nigeria was on the path of taking on the world in terms of rice production, noting that the President had shown unprecedented commitment to agriculture development in Nigeria.

The governor, who is the Vice Chairman of the National Food Security Council, said N174bn had been disbursed as credit to small-holder farmers under the Anchors Borrowers Programme.

This, he said, had provided more food, and therefore ensuring Nigeria’s food security.

The Director, Strategic Communications of the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), said the N1.2bn donation by the groups to the President’s re-election campaign did not violate the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), stating that no one shall donate more than N1m to any candidate.

Keyamo, in an interview with The PUNCH, said whoever doubted the legality of the donation should take their complaints to the groups.

He said, “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.”