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N500billion: “You must start Anchor Borrowers’ Fund probe from Niger State” Vatsa tells Tinubu

Comrade Jonathan Vatsa

A Stalwart and Former Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State, Hon. Jonathan Vatsa has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to start his probe into the alleged misappropriation of the N500billion Anchor Borrowers Fund from Niger state if he is truly serious about his anti corruption crusade.

The APC Chieftain while speaking in a live radio phone in programme on Tuesday in Minna and monitored by New Telegraph said “the anchor Borrowers scheme was a scam, and I strongly urged Mr. President to start the probe from Niger state”.

While reacting to President Tinubu’s pronouncement that he will look into how the billions of tax payers money was disbursed and utilized under the anchor Borrowers scheme from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism disclosed that, he was aware that a whopping sum of N4 billion was received by the Niger state government from the CBN but how the money was disbursed remains a mystery.

Vatsa said President Tinubu has the opportunity to write his name in gold if he makes bold his statement and go ahead to probe the disbursement of the anchor Borrowers Fund, adding that “I will be the happiest person if such probe can begin from Niger state.”

Accordingly, he said “we will be interested to know those farmers that benefited from this anchor Borrowers fund in Niger State. We will get to know whether they are the same farmers that were chased away from their farms and their ancestral homes by bandits or the farmers in government house and supervising ministries.

“We saw how sharing formula of the state N4 billion anchor Borrowers Fund led to a serious fight in the state among the ‘air-conditioned farmers’, while the real farmers who were the targeted beneficiaries use hoes, cutlass and in some cases, bare hands to weed their farms in communities where there is no bandits activities.

“It is a welcome development to hear President Tinubu said he wants to probe the disbursement and utilization of the fund.”

Vatsa said those who think that the anchor Borrowers Fund was a national cake and ended up sharing it among their family members, friends and cronies must be brought to face the law.

Vatsa however warned that it would be a disservice to the country if President Tinubu decides to politize his probe of the Anchor Borrowers Fund by limiting it to States that have governors in the opposition parties states alone.

He added that, “this is the only way Nigerians will know if the President is serious with his anti corruption crusade is he not to be partial.

“Regardless of party affiliation, the President should beam his searchlight on all the states of the Federation. This is not the era of “if you join APC your sins are forgiven”, no, let us not politize corruption in this country”.

He maintained that the anchor Borrowers scheme was well intended but was hijacked by some state governments, including Niger, and the fund openly diverted by those that matters in the government to the detriment of poor farmers in the country.

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