Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State has expressed dismay with the Federal Government over its deliberate abandonment of the state, particularly in the area of Agriculture.
Lamido made this known when the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina paid him a courtesy visit in his office at Dutse, Jigiwa state capital.
The governor lamented that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration had failed to save Nigerians from extreme poverty and hunger despite the arable land and other natural resources that abound in the country.
The accusation came against the backdrop of the president’s defense of the allegation that his Government was anti-North.
Lamido, one of the aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, who was visibly angry, tasked the Federal government on the need to go beyond its usual rhetoric of empty promises to a dignified level of providing the people with the basic things they require to better their lives.
Lamido added that “Nigeria is a great country where 90% of its people are agrarian, but our government neglect the Agricultural sector and allow majority of the citizens to face abject poverty and hunger”.
The Governor, who also had harsh words for the award-winning Minister said, “it is unfortunate that you are just coming to Jigawa for the first time in your life despite serving as Minister of Agriculture for two years which Jigawa people are part of the people you are serving, yet you know our state has a vast arable land for Agriculture.
“I have on my own planted over 13 million trees since the inception of my administration. I have built an agro-allied cargo airport in the state and there is no single support whatsoever from the Federal Government”, He said.
Lamido continued: “I personally asked people of Jigawa State to vote for Jonathan in the interest of national unity, progress and the promises he made to do justice to the people of the state in terms of executing capital projects. The president and the vice president personally promised to continue with Hadejia irrigation project to the extent that over N10billion was allocated to the project in a budget, but, three years after, nothing has been done.
“The federal government initiated a programme for the establishment of a seed processing centre in Birnin Kudu local government area; we paid our counterpart fund, but, two years after, the federal government has refused to release its fund to buy machines for the take-off of the centre. I believe you know what the provision of qualitative seeds means to my people in their agricultural practices?”
He stressed that, “it has been the case in virtually all the Federal Government sectors”.
Lamido also said that the people of Jigawa state were simply telling the FG that they were paying lip service to their plights, and that what they want is action.
“So what we are saying is if you want to save and secure Nigeria with peace, they must have seen something on ground that could prove that”, Lamido said.
In his remarks, the minister assured the governor of a renewed consultation between the state and federal Government in the area of Agriculture.