By Archibong Jeremiah
Prince Michael Nku Abuo, Director General, Cross River State Migration Control Services agency has denied allegation of fraud against him by the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Okon Owuna.
Abuo in a letter with reference CRSG/MCS/Vol.2/005 denied that he has never defrauded anyone especially as it relates to the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme, AADS using CRISPON MPCS.
He went on to accuse the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources of blackmail.
See his reply below:
It was Emelia Brobbey who said and I quote: “To be great, you have to be willing to be mocked, hated and misunderstood.”
Since the day I choose a path in public service I perfectly understood the above aphorism and have since transcended above petty jibes, libel, malicious concoctions, satanic manipulations, falsehood, slander and sentiments of unreasonable proportions. It is expected and will and must come as the conflicts of interest plays. From my student union days as a unionists to my activism in the National Youth Council of Nigeria and political mobilization/awareness as founder and Director General of the largest online and offline socio-political organization in Cross River State, which is the Cross River State Political Network, CRISPON, for over a decade I have built a tough skin to cheap blackmail and concocted foolery. I am not deterred for I am with God and on the side of light and majority! Normally, I won’t respond to the above subject matter but since this touches on my integrity and personality and due to the enormous concern from friends, families that I have received thus far on the said subject via calls, texts, messages and after a conversation with my boss, the Governor I am constrained to make this release.
Before I provide clarification as regards the above subject matter raised by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Okon, I wish to make this clear for all and sundry i.e the circumstance surrounding my involvement in the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme, AADS in Cross River State and our progress and conclusion of the matter therein.
Firstly, I am Prince Michael Nku Abuo, JP an aide of the Governor of Cross River State serving as the Director General of Migration Control Services of the Government of Cross River State, Nigeria and I was mandated directly by my boss the Governor, His Excellency, Sen. Ben Ayade to participate in
mobilizing support for the effective implementation and execution of the AAD Scheme in Cross River State. This, I have been doing with updates sent to the Governor constantly. Let me also make it clear that the Governor has the right to mandate any responsibility of his Government to whom so ever he wishes.
On getting this mandate, the first person I made attempt to see and work with is and was the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Okon, I did this by sending SMS, WhatsApp messages and even visited his office and dropped a letter in this regard. I didn’t get any feedback and therefore commenced the
execution of my mandate in line with the provided reviewed guidelines of the Central Bank of Nigeria on the said scheme. My activities has been transparent and in the open too. After consultation from my boss, I started by launching our Local Government Monitoring/Coordinating Team and the Project Management team of which the Commissioner of Agriculture was a member of. This information is in public domain.
In furtherance to deepening the reach of the scheme and for grassroot participation letters were sent to all the stakeholders across the 18 LGAs of the State to the political and civil class, House of Assembly members, paramount rulers, clan heads, community youth leaders, chairmen and executives, legislative reps at the Local Government level for engagements at their council secretariat to create sensitization and get a buy into the scheme in the State.
So far, aside our engagements with the Central Bank of Nigeria in Calabar and Abuja as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and the Presidential Task Force, we successfully held this town hall engagements with all the stakeholders outlined above in Bakassi, Akpabuyo, Calabar South, Akamkpa, Abi and Obubra.
The pictorial, visual/video and written evidence of attendance is in the public domain and anyone can confer with their Local Government stakeholders to affirm the above. In all of our engagement never a time did we call out or give CRISPON MPCS account number for people to make payments into, as a matter of fact we haven’t collected a dime from anyone on the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme as alleged in the write up by the Commissioner. The people in the above named Local Government Areas where we have successfully carried out the sensitization are alive and can be contacted for firsthand information.
I am a youth, coincidentally within the age bracket (18-35 years old) that this scheme is targeted at, I have royal blood and was properly raised to respect elders and even young people, I have never disrespected or malign the personality of the Commissioner and have expressed sincere and genuine desire for us to work together and in our last meeting which he finally accepted to, after he saw our progress I made to work with him as a team, for the good of our State and in positive light to the Government of Sen. Ben Ayade.
All this scuffle escalated when I discovered that an attendance list of a purported senatorial district town hall meeting from the Ministry of Agriculture Cross River State was been sent to people’s home for people to write their names and those of their ally as a means of creating a facade that there was a meeting of that sort and it had massive attendance as against our grassroots strides recorded thus far with massive participation. This alert I am sure got to the Commissioner and he took it personal hence this maligning publication.
It was with joy and sheer spirit that I received and read the publication from Mr. Okon Nyong Owuna, the Commissioner for Agriculture disclaiming me as a member of the Project Monitoring Committee, a Government appointee and defrauding people.
Let me make this clear:
1. By God’s grace I am an appointee of the Governor, His Excellency, Sen. Ben Ayade and a Director General of the Migration Control Services Agency. This is and can’t be contested by the said Commissioner. For further confirmation you can write to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government Cross River State.
2. I had the mandate of the Governor, my boss to carry out my roles as it relates to AAD Scheme in the State and he is and was abreast of all of my activities and was adequately briefed.
3. The allegation of asking people to pay into CRISPON account to be part of the AAD Scheme is false and totally geared at cheap and pungent blackmail. The LGAs visited and their stakeholders engaged are witness to this fact and can be contacted for authentication of my stance.
4. I have never defrauded anyone before and will never do so whether with the CRISPON Cooperative or with AADS or in any guise. Nobody has paid or given one Naira to me or our team members as long as this scheme is concerned neither have we given CRISPON MPCS account as we tour on this scheme.
5. Like seen from our yesterday, Monday, 10th August, 2020. I held AADS sensitization and awareness tour which held successfully at Obubra and Abi. I am not wanted by the Police, it is only the Nigerian Police or other security agents that hold the right to declare someone wanted and not an exalted Ministry of Agriculture, Cross River State and so far I have no such case.
6. There’s a principle in law that’s states that he who alleges must prove. Let the Commissioner provide the video, written documented evidence that I have collected monies from farmers or given CRISPON account for payment in as much as this scheme is concerned during my tours.
7. It is true that I am part of the CRISPON MPCS LTD but merging my personal venture which provides several kinds of services and my official engagements is truly born out of mischief for even as Commissioner of Agriculture you have your personal ventures, one of which was used for the Project Appeal engagements in Akamkpa.
8. For emphasis I have never gotten a dime from any farmer or group of farmers for the AAD Scheme and this is true and clear.
9. The AAD Scheme is completely different from the CBN AGSMEIS Entrepreneurial Development Training; which has a fee attached to its registration and training process directly from the CBN.
I have never received any monies as regards the AAD Scheme whether by cash or through the said CRISPON MPCS LTD, except for the CBN AGSMEIS EDI facility which is purely justifiable.
10. Why would he use an official letter head of Government to engage in his private pursuit of ego massage, where is it heard and has it ever been done that a Government appointee will malign another without verifiable fact and due process publicly? Is this not abuse of office?
11. We have always mentioned that participation in the AAD Scheme is free in all of our engagements.
Dear Cross Riverians and my fellow youths this is pure blackmail and witch-hunt. Before now, did we have this level of awareness of the AAD Scheme in Cross River State? Since 2018 it was launched it was lying fallow until I made this move for the good of all and how far have we faired in similar schemes thus far in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, why this interest all of a sudden when there are a thousand other opportunities to be explored in this sector? I have nothing personal to gain from this and I wouldn’t have arrogated powers to myself, my pursuit with speed and drive was born out of a sincere desire to empower our people in line with the Governor’s desire. Let us learn and look beyond the veil, this is a fight of destinies and of good and evil, light and darkness. In the end light will prevail whether now or in the future.
Due to our lack of push and interface Cross River State has lost out in many such opportunities because we do not have those to follow up for us and also do the right thing in schemes like this. It is because I wanted success knowing the gains of this scheme to our youths that I have had sleepless nights made countless journeys within and outside the State, pursued and exchanged correspondence and mails with or without support. It is this laid back attitude and internal bickers/tussles that has made us losers in opportunities that will benefit our people.
Let this be on record that it is this drive that made me facilitate the targeted credit facility for our people across the 18 LGAs and saw me accessing over 250 Million Naira for indigenes and residents of our State. I have their records and details.
I have communicated with my boss and principal His Excellency, Sen. Ben Ayade, the Executive Governor of Cross River State the actions of the Commissioner and our progress recorded thus far and I await his actions and feedback. I have also sent the malicious, defamatory and derogatory publication to my lawyers for advice for possible legal actions against Mr. Okon.
Going forward, my team and I are therefore suspending activities for now as it has to do with the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme, AADS in Cross River State until further directive from my boss, the Governor and conflicting interest on the side of the Commissioner of Agriculture is sorted. I want to assure my friends, families and well-wishers that I am okay and will never do anything to drag my name, the elevated profile of the Abuo Achong dynasty into any form of disrepute. I also thank you for your support, prayers and encouragement.
To members of our LGA Coordinators on this scheme thank you and keep the structures we have built right to the grassroots level across the 196 wards intact as I will continue to source for other opportunities beyond AADS to empower our people as of course this AADS and other opportunity will not pass us by anymore. Know that you were part of executing an intervention program in a manner that it has never been done before; we took it to the grassroots as against the compilation of a few. I want to thank His Excellency, Sen. Ben Ayade, the Executive Governor of Cross River State for the confidence reposted on not just me but other youths he has given a voice to make a difference in our State. God bless Cross River State!
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