As the build up towards the 2023 general elections are approaching, various candidates and political parties are strategizing and mobilising the Nigerian voters to support them
In the All Progressives Congress, APC, vigorous campaigns are embarked upon to woo the Nigerian farmers to their side and ensure that Tinubu/Shetima ticket scales through the February. election.
The Secretary of Agriculture and Commodity of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Retson Tedheke, Friday, disclosed that 15 million farmers across the country are currently being mobilized by thousands of rural farm leaders.
Tedheke explained that the rural farm leaders are committed and working hard as they have set up machinery in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to actualize the 15 million farmer votes for enthronement of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
Tedheke, who also doubles as the National Convener of Asiwaju’s Farmers Forum and National Coordinator of Nigerian Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) while interacting with some journalists in Abuja, displayed a register containing names and contacts of 11,000 registered farmers across the country under the auspices of the Asiwaju Farmers Forum.
He said they are going to play major role in mobilising the farmers from the six geo political zones and described them as lead mobilizers at the zone, state, local government, and ward levels.
He said: “To mobilise at least 20,000 farmers in each of the 774 local government areas across the country, bringing the figure to 15 million farmers.
While analysing the voting strength of Nigerian farmers during elections, he (Tedheke) pointed that farmers passion for economic growth and development cannot be overemphasized but have been undermined, but had overtime made Nigerian politicians relevant in the electoral process and in office.
“Even when their votes exceed that of industrial workers or urban middle classes and even the political class.
“The rural/semi urban communities contributed largely to the ballot during every elections and majority of those residing in these areas across the country are majorly farmers.
“If elections are about numbers, democratic politics is about stitching together a majority. So, the larger a group, the bigger is its vote bank and greater is its electoral clout.
“This is value we, farmers across the country, are bringing to the table for the Tinubu -Shettima’s ticket.
He also recalled that between January and March 2021, the agriculture contributed to 22.35 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product.
Meanwhile, he assured farmers and Nigerians that food and nutrition security is guaranteed under the Tinubu presidency as the modalities are set in place already and would hit the ground running with modern farming technology, inputs, better seeds procurement, new crops grown, climate smart agricultural practices, and other agronomic practices.
“Increased subsidy on utilities like power, water, and input materials will go a long way to solve the current challenges bedevilling growth in the country’s agricultural sector”, he added.