The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has denied allegation of lack of focus and misplaced priority levelled against it, describing it as an attempt to discredit the body.
An online platform had reportedly accused the leadership of the Niger state chapter of RIFAN of diversion of fund meant to boost rice production for personal comfort of certain members and their cronies.
But a statement signed Sunday and made available to Blueprint in Abuja by RIFAN’s spokesman, Niger state, Comrade Ibrahim Yusuf, denied all the allegations.
Comrade Yusuf said there was no iota of truth in the report which he described as misleading, unverifiable with intent to discredit the association.
He said:” The attention of our forum has been drawn to the unverifiable allegations against the coordinator of Rice Farmers Association Of Nigeria, Niger State chapter,IF in a publication purportedly written by one Shariff M. M Alhassan.
‘RIFAN as a critical stakeholder in the affairs of the nation, we consider the allegation as a mere tale orchestrated to discredit us.
“It’s on record that Niger RIFAN remains the leading state in terms of rice production and the Ministry of Agriculture and other state and federal government intervention agencies can attest to this fact.
We challenge the said Shariff M. M Alhassan to name the warehouse the rice he claimed were procured were stored by RIFAN Niger state or any actual corruption practice indulged by the association.
“We again restate our position that the report was meant to create rancor in our rank and misinform the public and good people of Niger State. Why did the reporter not make efforts to hear our own side to balance his sensational report which we believe was meant to pursue a sinister motive?”
The association further “called on the public to disregard this purported tale as we remain focused and committed in boosting local rice production in Niger state.
“It’s noteworthy to state that the pragmatic leadership of Niger State RIFAN has earned it accolades in terms of numerous awards . We again use this opportunity to commend the entire membership of Niger State RIFAN for their several efforts to make Niger State RIFAN successful.”