From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The internal wrangling in the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has continued amidst a pending law suit over the leadership tussle before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
One of the combatant, the newly elected President, Mr Farouk Mudi, has described the five-year tenure of his predecessor, Mr Kabir Ibrahim, as a huge waste and a set back to farmers in the country.
While describing Ibrahim as an “incompetent and unproductive leader”, the AFAN president equally
alleged that the affairs of association were grossly mismanaged under his leadership.
Mudi who spoke to Journalists in Abuja ahead of the hearing of the case however denied the existence of factions in the association.
It would be recalled that Ibrahim, whose tenure as AFAN president expired in June 2019, has in recent times continued to present himself as the leader of the association.
He was elected into office in 2014 in accordance with Article 13 of the Constitution of the organisation which provides five-year single term for every elected executive member.
AFAN had sued Ibrahim and his dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) over alleged refusal to hand over association’s assets and property before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In the originating summon, the association also asked the court to stop Kabiru Ibrahim-led NWC from parading themselves as executive members of the association.
Mudi, however, said Ibrahim was always in the media to mislead the gullible Nigerians.
‘Architect Kabir Ibrahim, the former president of AFAN, was incompetent and unproductive. The only achievement I can point to Kabir as president of AFAN was gross incompetent and lack of transparency in the management of farmers’ funds.
‘Apart from that, he has nothing to show for his five years in power; even he couldn’t purchase a small vehicle as official car for AFAN while in office.
‘During his term, AFAN had no office. So how can such a person move the association forward?
‘Anybody that is still working with Kabir is not a lover of Nigeria; such person is only doing that for his selfish interest,’he said.
The president clarified that there was no faction in AFAN after Ibrahim was booted out of office.
‘I believe there is no faction in AFAN. Architect Kabir is only running a parallel office that is not recognise and backed by law.
‘So I believe AFAN is one, and it has only one certificate. His tenure has expired and an election was conducted, even the immediate-past Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono, was in attendance and I vied for the position and I won,’he said.
Mudi opined that Ibrahim might have decided not to relinquish power ‘because of the benefit he was getting in connivance with some corrupt government officials.
‘And they are only using him as a tool to perpetrate their dastardly act and that is why he has been fighting like a wounded lion, insisting that he wants to continue.
‘I see no reason why Kabir should continue if the constitution says five years. He stayed in power for five years and eight months before he was pushed out.
‘I don’t know the kind of calculator he is using to still want to remain in power despite being unproductive.
‘His signature is no longer valid. He does not run any account of AFAN and if anyone does business with him, such person does so at his or her own risk.’
According to him, only the briefcase farmers would want to work with him; the contractor farmer because the ex-president no longer has any link with farmers across the country.
Mudi, who stressed that he was validly elected as president, said the General Assembly of Farmers (GAF) conducted the poll in accordance with the provisions of AFAN’s constitution.
‘Although in March 4, 2020, I was nominated as caretaker chairman by the National Executive Council to oversee AFAN’s affairs pending when a new executive would be elected, I was legitimately elected this year during the meeting of the General Assembly of Farmers convened in April 9, 2021.
‘Even Kabir’s election was through the general assembly of farmers in 2014 and all our elections are through this medium,’ he explained.
He informed that when the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development intervened by calling him to order, Ibrahim resulted to blackmail.
‘The Ministry of Agriculture cautioned him and asked him to vacate the office. However, Kabir started abusing the former minister, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono.
‘He felt the former minister was supporting us; whereas he was only asking that the due process of law be followed because he was a witness during my election.
‘We are working with the ministry hand-in-hand only that there are some undesirable elements among the staff that are giving Kabir some information just to misguide the public,’ he said.