By Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo
All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Osun State has warned the State government not to cause division among members of the association.
The association alleged that government interference has caused division among its members as well as hindered its success.
Addressing a press conference in Osogbo on Thursday, the Chairman of AFAN in Osun State, Alhaji Suleiman Araokanmi, insisted that it would reject imposition of candidate on its members by the government.
Araokanmi however vowed that impostors would be made to face the wrath of law.
“This press conference became necessary in view of the fact that some group of individuals who are not known to the state of Osun AFAN are still parading themselves as state AFAN executives in the state.”
He also accused carrier officers of frustrating the government efforts at helping farmers, saying “the men and women between the government and the farmers in the agriculture settings are the problem to farmers, especially the carrier officers. They are there to corrupt the head in other to make money.”
Araokanmi however, promised that his administration would ensure good working condition for 431,000 members of AFAN in the state, so as to make the state one of the largest producer of food in the country.
“We are prepared to make the state a food basket of the nation, Nigeria. We will vigorously pursue, empower and assist farmers in the state in areas of tree crops (Cocoa); Arable (Rice) and livestock (Poultry). Efforts to secure loans and provide grants for all farmers accordingly and timely will be vigorously pursued.”
Corroborating him, the South West Electoral Officer of AFAN, Chief Samson Babadara, appealed to the government to give the association free hands to operate without interference.
He said “government should hands off AFAN in all states. AFAN should be allowed to choose there leaders without government interference. We appel to the government to recognise our elected leaderships.
In his reaction to the allegation, the Supervisor for agriculture in the state, Dr Charles Akinola, said the government does not have anything to gain in imposing candidate on the association.
Represented by the Coordinating Director, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr Olubukola Aluko, Akinola said the government is for everybody and would continue to join hands with the association to succeed in its efforts to make food sufficient for people of the state.