…As Ize-Iyamu Promises to Restore Ekpoma’s Lost Glory in Rice Farming.
Rice farmers in Warrake, Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State have given credit to the state governor, Godwin Obaseki for last year’s increase in rice production. The Coordinator of Warrake rice farms, Suleiman Ibrahim, gave this commendation on Wednesday during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s campaign rally in Warrake Ward 11, in the local government area. He commended the governor for providing an enabling environment for agriculture to thrive.
Recalling how the Governor cleared 500 hectares for farming which provided jobs for youths and women, Ibrahim said “The Governor cleared 500 hectares for Warrake rice farmers last year. Each farmer got four hectares. We conveyed the rice produced in trucks. If there is anybody that has impacted our lives, it is Obaseki. We intend to move more than 15 trailers of rice outside during the next harvest.
“We took four trucks each from these communities for processing. By the grace of God, if we have more rains, we will harvest more next year”, he added.
Addressing PDP faithful and supporters at the rally, Obaseki told the people to expect more infrastructural facilities from his administration. He promised to construct the Warrake-Agbede Road, urging the voters in the area to re-elect him by voting for the PDP in the forthcoming election.
Two PDP leaders from Warrake, Friday Airende, a retired Army General, and Afekhai Abubakar a retired Army Captain, drew the attention of the governor to challenges facing the local government area and vowed to vote PDP and defend their votes. Airende particularly sought the intervention of the governor in the power problem in the community.
Earlier, the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, and his wife, Mariam Shaibu, urged the electorate not to be scared of war mongers and intimidation by enemies of progress. They urged eligible voters in the locality to come out en-masse and exercise their franchise, assuring that adequate security would be provided for the September 19 governorship election.
Meanwhile, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on his part, has promised to revive rice production in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area of the state to boost food production and availability, and raise the earnings of farmers.
Ize-Iyamu, who made the promise at a rally on Wednesday, said Ekpoma’s reputation as a hub of local rice production in the state, was destroyed by the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki following his administration’s poor investment in agriculture and insincerity with support funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
He accused Obaseki of mismanaging the billions his administration received under the CBN credit scheme for farmers. “The present administration collected a lot of billions under the Central Bank of Nigeria credit scheme for farmers but could not invest the money wisely. Many farmers in this local government council applied for the loan scheme but they did not benefit from the scheme.”
Ize-Iyamu however promised that his administration, “If voted for, would revive the agricultural potentials in this community especially rice production. Growing up as a child, Ekpoma rice was a delicacy in almost every household in the state and a major source of income for farmers in Ekpoma”.
Recall that some Edo farmers, under the aegis of Edo State Concerned Farmers Association (ESCFA), had staged a protest in Abuja last month demanding a probe of the N144 billion loan allegedly disbursed to the Obaseki-led Edo State Government by the Central Bank of Nigeria for onward distribution to farmers as loans.
Addressing newsmen after the protest, the Deputy Coordinator of the farmers group, Abdul Muhammad Oshiobugie, alleged that the government had defaulted in its mandated payment for their farm produce since the harvest seasons of 2017 and 2019. Oshiobugie also said the governor had rebuffed all demands for accountability, prompting them to alert the CBN and demand a probe by the anti-graft agencies.
Ize-Iyamu’s campaign train also stopped over at Owan West local government area where the APC candidate assured residents of his commitment to implement his SIMPLE agenda to develop the local government area and empower the people.