Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has ordered the immediate suspension of all officials named in the alleged extortion of farmers in the state’s Ministry of Agriculture through the sale of unauthorised registration forms.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, disclosed that the government at no time approved the sale of any forms to registered farmers and that the administration found it strange that some officials could do much to the farmers.
“In the light of the development, we wish to state the following: That neither the Governor nor the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development at any time approved the sale of forms to anyone, including farmers, in the guise of whatever scheme or census for farmers,” Ajakaye said.
The Chief Press Secretary said the preliminary in-house findings suggested clear wrongdoings. He said the Head of Service has accordingly been directed to suspend all the affected officials, including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
He noted that this will send the signal that such misconduct will not be condoned by the Governor.
“That we call on the EFCC to immediately step in to investigate and prosecute anyone found guilty of ripping off the poor farmers, thus making it clear that his administration will never tolerate such behaviours under whatever guise.
“And, finally, that the government will ensure the refund of the money of the victim-farmers who would be requested to bring forward the said forms that they purchased to claim their refund. The government sincerely regrets this embarrassing behaviour of the affected officials and apologises to the affected farmers.” Ajakaye added.
Source: Voice of Nigeria