The Guardian (Nigeria)

Gesture end- game for herders/ farmers clashes, says VON DG

- From Lawrence Njoku ( Enugu) and Adamu Abuh ( Abuja)

SOME Civil Society Organisati­ons have called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) and Independen­t Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission ( ICPC) to probe the approval and release of N6.25 billion for ranching in Katsina State by the Presidency.

The groups, yesterday, stated that it was illegal for President Muhammadu Buhari to dip hands into public coffers to sponsor private businesses without recourse to due process.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, reportedly revealed last Friday that the Federal Government had approved N6.25 billion to kick- start ranching businesses in Buhari’s home state.

Also, the President was said to have speedily released over 80 per cent of the sum a day after the approval.

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, was quoted to have admitted that N5 billion had been released from the sum to start the venture.

Responding to the developmen­t in Enugu yesterday, the groups demanded that the money be returned to the public till, even as it asked the Minister for Budget and Economic Planning to explain to Nigerians which budget contained the N6.25 billion for cattle ranches in Katsina.

They made this known in a statement signed by the President, Internatio­nal Solidarity for Peace and Human Rights Initiative ( ISPHRI), Osmond Ugwu; Deputy Leader, Mass Movement for True Democracy, Integral Developmen­t and Good Governance ( MMTDIDGG), Dr. Jerry Chukwuokol­o; and Secretary, Coalition of Civil Societies, Workers and Human Rights Defenders

( CCSWHRD), Zulu Ofoelue.

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