Alhaji Abubakar Bello, Director, Agro Commodities Directorate, All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, says Nigerian farmers have promised to deliver 17 million votes to the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 polls, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He spoke on Thursday in Abuja at a National Farmers Stakeholders Summit organised by the directorate for farmers.
He said the directorate comprised over 100 recognised commodity associations cutting across agricultural production, manufacturing, processing and marketing of food and cash crops among others.
Bello said it also included all other support structures such as fertiliser, agro chemicals, packaging and transportation.
He said at the event for farmers all over the country: “Representatives of these structures are in this venue today to affirm their support to the APC Tinubu/ Shetima presidential ticket.
“And on their behalf, I wish to inform this gathering that they have all been working hard since the inauguration of the directorate in November 2022.
“The aim is to deliver at least 17 million votes to the APC presidential candidate during the upcoming presidential election slated for February 25.”
Bello said the country’s agricultural sector had seen consistent in terms of holistic development since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015 through value chains.
This, he said, included the formulation of appropriate policies which had led to the provision of prerequisite infrastructure that had the potential to uplift the sector sustainably in the years ahead.
He said the country was at the stage of producing and processing what it needed in food crops and was gearing for export of cash and tree crops, tubers, livestock and fisheries.
Bello said that such favourable policies ensured investments in the construction of vital futuristic structures such as the Lekki Deep Seaport in Lagos and the dry ports in Kano and Kaduna among others.
He added: “The agro commodities groups had to ensure full support and ensure we mobilise our teeming members to usher in Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the only government that will not only continue with these successes, but has the capacity, ability, vision and doggedness to double the speed at which the sector transformed in order to cater for the projected massive population leap in the coming years.
“We cannot afford to allow in a clueless government that had already promised to open the national borders and take us back to the era of massive food and weapons import.
“If allowed to happen, our over 70 newly established integrated rice mills and other agricultural investments would become moribund while most youths would become unemployed.”
Bello said the summit intended to review work done in the agricultural sector and to lay solid plans for transition for the incoming government.
He added that it was also to strategise on how to get massive votes from the farmers and agro commodity groups for Tinubu to become the country`s next president.
“We have all what it takes to fulfill our mandate and we shall deliver this mandate by the grace of God,” he said.
Retson Tedheke, the Secretary of the Directorate, said given the right incentives, Nigerian famers could build the country like the case before the advent of oil exploration.
He said the summit was to bring together farmers who were especially involved in the cassava and maize cultivation in the country to brainstorm and analyse Tinubu’s action plan on agriculture.
He expressed optimism that Tinubu’s action plan on agriculture would elevate Nigerian farmers if implemented.