By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Farouq Rabiu Mudi on Tuesday defended his position as president of AFAN, stating that he assumed office legally with the association’s constitutional powers.
A statement signed by the AFAN President Farouq Rabiu Mudi denied claims by his predecessor, Arch. Kabiru Ibrahim that he was unjustly elected.
Recalled that Mudi, on the 3rd of March 2020, emerged president of AFAN at an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) members held in Abuja.
According to him, the NEC in the meeting inaugurated a 13-member Care-Taker Committee or National Working Committee (NWC) where he was elected National President.
“The newly elected NWC had said that the tenure of the Ibrahim-led administration expired in June 2019, contravening Article 13, Section 1 of its constitution.
“Adding that the association did not hold a general assembly as established in its law, that breach led to their immediate dissolution.
“However, former president Ibrahim claimed in a letter dated March 9th, that the NEC that approved the new NWC were not representatives of the association, stating the previous executives were “unconstitutionally dissolved”.
AFAN President Farouq Mudi, however, called on Ibrahim to desist from illegally parading himself as president of the association, upon dissolution and expiration of his tenure by the court.
He further went on to say: “As stated in the Communique issued during the National Executive Committee meeting held on 3rd March 2020, the constitution obliged the association to call a General Assembly of Farmers each year, which Ibrahim failed to do during his tenure.
“He also exceeded the stipulated time of his stay in office by eight months with no intention of calling the National Executive Committee for elections.
“The court has served the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono with a letter introducing the new National Working Committee and restraining Ibrahim from parading himself as AFAN National President.
“The minister also regards himself as a member of AFAN, being a long time farmer,” Mudi added.
“AFAN on March 18th had also issued a legal warning to Ibrahim and his dissolved NWC, directing him to respect the judicial processes regarding the election of Mudi and the new working committee.
“In the suit which was filed before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court by counsel to AFAN, Modibbo Bakari, the national president, and his dissolved NWC are the 1st defendants, while the Inspector General (I-G) of Police is the 2nd defendant in the case.
“Bakari called on stakeholders to recognise Mudi-led EXCO as the new leadership of AFAN. This was contained in a letter sent to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chairman Senate and House Committee on Agriculture respectively, with the subject: ‘Special Appeal for Derecognition of Arch. Kabiru Ibrahim as National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Due to Expiration of his Tenure Since 14/6/2019’.
“Meanwhile, the only legally recognised National EXCO is the aforementioned Caretaker Committee for all intents and purposes”, the letter reads.”
He urged the CAC to give a fair hearing to Trustees of both parties before impeding the Kano Chapter on account of no objection or complaint from the parent body.
“The letter reads in part, it is our client’s instruction that there is no objection or grievance by the parent body of the association against the registration of the Kano Chapter.
“If anything, the registration of Kano Chapter is meant to expand the operational activities of the parent body for wider reach out to the grassroots with specific emphasis of policy, awareness and enlightenment of rural farmers on agricultural extension services of the present administration.
“Suffice it to posit that the Kano Chapter is neither in conflict nor in rivalry with the parent body but rather in supplemental purpose and enhancement drive of the cardinal objective of its said parent body for intents and purposes.
“Thus, there is no contravention of S. 593 CAMA or any of its provisions. On a note, we humbly advise your Commission to steer clear of such personally infested prejudices to avoid descending into arena of settling cheap rifts.
While appealing to the CAC to remove the caveat and restore the Kano Branch to its previously existing state of affairs, Bakari urged them not to entertain ego-bound skirmishes of no value.
Mudi described Ibrahim as an antagonist for Agricultural Development, working hard to obstruct the efforts of the Federal Government at the same time trying to corrode the image of farmers in the eyes of the world because of his visual impairment.
He pleaded with him to desist from being ‘anti-progressive’, and also called on the disgruntled faction to work peacefully with the association in order to serve the interest of all farmers nationwide.
“Our focus should be on food production during and after this pandemic” noting that, if not checked, the actions of Ibrahim could ground the activities of AFAN against the economic interest of the country.” He said.
He warned him not to ever parade himself as AFAN President so as not to face the consequences of law.