The Chairman of the Niger State Rice Association, Mahmood Sani, has expressed his readiness to lock horns with Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in forthcoming governorship election in the state, saying: “I will defeat him come 2019.”
Addressing newsmen in his office on Monday, the governorship aspirant disclosed that he will defeat Bello because his administration had failed to address the infrastructural decay, poor health care delivery, education and youth empowerment in the state.
Sani, who is contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, said Bello’s endorsement does not stop anyone from contesting, adding that it is open for all members of the party who are qualified.
Sani said if he is voted into power, he will put to an end poverty and hunger through massive investments in agriculture to ameliorate the sufferings of the masses.
He said: “Agriculture is the mainstay of our economy and my topmost priority.
“If we accord it the needed attention, it will contribute significantly towards reducing poverty and hunger and also boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
“Niger State, as we all know, is an agrarian state.
“We have the land mass and the required manpower to drive the sector and bring a lot of innovations into the system.
“l’m coming to make a difference and bring about a wholistic change in the system to make sure all facets of life in the state are put on the right track.”
On the issue of zoning formula in the state, Sani said: “I’m from the South zone of the state and zoning arrangement will not stop me from contesting, provided I am qualified.
“In the real sense of it, zoning formula is not in APC constitution.”
Asked to comment on his suspension by the national body of the Rice Association for surcharging farmers in the state and other irregularities, the aspirant said: “Though I have not seen the suspension letter, but it was a calculated attempt to tarnish my image and distract my political ambition.
“Let the association show me where it was written in our constitution that a member cannot contest for any elective position in Nigeria.
“The body is being mischievous.”
Sani said out of the 24,911 members of the association in the state, 20,000 famers have collected their farm inputs and “we train and retrain our farmers in 25 Local Government Areas of the state on the use of farm implements”.