Says Farouk-led caretaker cttee remains illegal, unconstitutional
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The farmers’ apex body, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, on Friday, disclosed of setting up 7-man electoral committee to conduct national elections in March 2021.
This was made known by AFAN’s National President, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, at a press conference after the National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting held in Abuja.
According to Ibrahim during the meeting they agreed to set up the electoral committee to conduct the national elections, which he said the committee is headed by its chairman who was former Chairman, AFAN, Nasarawa State, Mu’azu Ishaq, while the secretary is former Chairman, AFAN, Kogi State, Rabi Peace.
Other members include former Chairman, AFAN, Kogi State (North Central); Member, former Chairman, AFAN, Anambra State, Nnamdi Mekoh (South East); Member, former Chairman, AFAN, Zamfara State, Dr Malami Buwal (North West); Member, Engr Musa Ali Marte (North East); Member, former Chairman, Akwa Ibom State, Engr Dennis Etang (South South); and member, AFAN, Prince Dele Ogundele (South West).
He said: “We have agreed on the seven member of the electoral committee comprising a chairman and six from the six geopolitical zones.
“We believe in the chairman of this electoral committee because of his wealth of experience, especially as a former Head of Service in Nasarawa State, he will diligently conduct the national elections.The other members are all former chairmen of AFAN chapters.
“And understand what it takes because the national election in AFAN is there will be five members from each chapter comprising the chairman, secretary, treasurer, women leader and youth leader of the chapter.
“We have approved the members of the electoral committee for the national election. We are going to talk about when the GAF is going to take place.
“Elections according to our constitution says we must give three months before elections are conducted when we have the electoral committee in place, and that is why we have said the election will latest take place in March 2021, and all these processes have to be done, and the GAF will have to be done in February 2021.”
He further explained that they will also come to one place to elect a leader and also they are the people who constitute the General Assembly of Farmers, GAF, which is the highest body of farmers that will take decision on constitution, elections and constitution of Board of Trustees, BoT.
He added that the body can now go ahead and conduct election of a new chairman according to AFAN’s constitution that states it is from among the BoT that a chairman will be appointed and for the BoT once elections are held the AFAN constitution from Section 11, 11a clearly stated that, “The people who are elected that is the President, two Deputy National Presidents, One National Officer each from the six geopolitical zone, and registered Trustees will together be the BoT of AFAN.
“The BoT as it is now has three living BoT members- Murtala Nyako, Dr Mustapha Shettima and Dr Abdullahi Adamu. The other two are dead- Dr Femi Coker and Ike Abubakar.”
He (Ibrahim) still maintained that there will be elections following constitution an electoral body for the national election, while they will do that of GAF to determine what will happen to the BoT.
“There are 12 members of the BoT and so one person cannot take a decision, rather the majority of that number 2/3 should take a decision, and the decision taken on caretaker is not valid because there is no provision for caretaker in our constitution”, he stated.
Meanwhile, members of NEC reinforced the statement and position of the National President on conducting national elections and other issues agreed upon, who include Chairman, AFAN, Kano State, Abdulrasheed Magaji; Chairman, AFAN, Niger State, Shehu Galadima; 1st Deputy National President, AFAN, Tobias Iwu; Chairman, AFAN, Gombe State, Modibbo Nafada; and Chairman, AFAN, Kogi State, Salihu Abubakar.
However, the he maintained that the Farouk-led purported caretaker committee remains illegal, because it is an aberration of the association’s constitution, and said what happened to AFAN will not be allowed to take place in the future as it is set to conduct national elections and correct that.
“But before the elections will be held we will make sure we don’t have the kind of problem we have now where one member of BoT who calls himself the chairman will go to his living room and make pronouncement because AFAN constitution does not have provision for caretaker committee-from the ward up to national.
“Elections have to be held and that is why we are still carrying on with our activities but there are so many things that are obnoxious happening, and we are taking measures to ensure that they don’t happen”, he said.