The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that no relief agricultural inputs meant for flood-ravaged farmers in nine Local Government Areas of Ebonyi were diverted or sold.
The Agency noted that distribution of the relief materials was done between September 28 and October 27 ‘after a due assessment, enumeration and capturing of the farmers affected during the 2020 flood within the nine council areas in Ebonyi State.’
The South East Coordinator of NEMA, Mr James Eze, who made the clarification while briefing reporters in Enugu, described as false what he called malicious online social media posts that alleged that he diverted and sold relief materials meant for 2020 flood-affected farmers.
He noted that no state in the region, including Ebonyi, complained of a shortfall before, during or after the distribution, adding that the authorities of the local governments affected in Ebonyi were given advanced copies of the items they should expect during the exercise.
‘My attention has been drawn to a dubious allegation published by one social media platform alleging that the Emergency Agricultural Intervention items meant for the 2020 Flood Affected Farmers in Ebonyi were diverted and sold,’ Eze said.
‘The dubious and unsubstantial allegation claimed that the proceeds from the diversion and sales were used to buy properties in Abuja and Lagos by me (Zonal Coordinator).
‘The items supplied by NEMA were jointly received by state authorities and two NEMA officers who recorded all items supplied. No state complained of a shortfall. We gave all local governments an advanced copy of the items they should expect during the exercise.
‘There was no complaint of diversion of items from any of the nine local government areas that we distributed items in Ebonyi.
‘The state authorities and other stakeholders signed a Certificate of Performance that was issued to NEMA staff and the agency’s headquarters.’
Eze described the allegation as an ‘extreme peddling of falsehood that only existed in the imagination of the writer. I never diverted any materials meant for farmers and I do not have even a square meter of land in Lagos or Abuja.
‘The state where I superintend, Ebonyi, gave my team accolades after the exercise and I do not know what it will benefit the person or those behind the malicious and falsified write-up against NEMA and me.
‘Initially, I did not want to respond to the bizarre allegation and falsehood but it is necessary to put the records straight that there was nothing like diversion of agricultural inputs meant for farmers in the South East, let alone in Ebonyi.’