PAY US OUR MONEY-FADAMA FARMERS TELL IKA SOUTH COUNCIL

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FADAMA, a World
Bank initiative aimed at assisting farmers in Africa through the disbursement
of funds to encourage them in their farm work, has  since its introduction in Nigeria turned out to
become a mixed blessings for farmers. Mixed blessings in that the programme
which is planned to assist farmers is being hijack by some council chairmen.
While some farmers have been receiving their own counterpart fund since the
FADAMA programme started three years ago in Nigeria, many of their colleagues
in many local government area have not been opportuned to receive their own
even once.

Among those
farmers that are  being denied their  N2m FADAMA counterpart fund are farmers in
Ika South Local Government Area, who were in the council secretariat on Tuesday
4th October 2011 to tell the council of their grievance. The farmers
who are drawn from almost all the villages in Ika South met with the Director
of Personal Management, DPM, of the local government who told them that he is
new in Ika South and do not know much about their agitation but agreed to pay
them as soon as there is money in the council. The aggrieved farmers disclosed
to Ika Weekly, that since the beginning of the FADAMA programme which stipulates
that farmers in different local 
government in Nigeria
are entitled to some fund  every year as
a way of encouraging them, they have not received a kobo from the council.

Speaking with Ika
Weekly shortly after their meeting with the DPM, the leader of the FADMA
farmers, Mr. Sylvester Enwemeka said they were in the council to make appeal
for the payment of their counterpart funds. He said since three years that the
programme started, Ika South council has been promising to pay them,
unfortunately up till now they have not been paid. He stated that the council
is to pay N2m to the state government who in turn will disburse it to the
farmers. He revealed that before now, they have made several attempts through
paying of several visits to the house and office of the past Ika South local
government chairman, Hon Hilary Ibude but none yielded any positive result. He
said in some of the visits to Hon. Ibude, the group carried both tubers of yam
and up wine to him, all to make him happy and release the counterpart fund to
them, but none yielded any result as Hon Ibude failed to pay them before he
left office.

Mr. Sylvester
Enwemeka said other sister local governments in Delta have been paid. Other
members of the FADAMA group, Mr. Victor Orumgbe, Ugbomo Albert, Comfort
Enwemeka, Ngozi Okwuonyeri, Dumbiri Ekome and Ugbo Chukwumeke said they are
sick and tired of fake promises from the council. They asserted that they are
not finding it easy with their farm work as they need money to buy fertilizers
and other things  that will help boost
their produce. Many of them who came from Ime-Obi, Abavo, Ozanogogo etc
complained of the difficulties they are passing through in their farms because
they have no assistance. The farmers therefore, appealed to both federal and
state government as well as human rights groups come to their aid. The also
appeal to the DPM in Ika South to pay them immediately there is money in the
council.

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