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Widow Cries Out Petitions First Lady over every-home-a-garden

garden

..Accuses self aclaim estate chairman of stopping her from farming

The N25 million every-home-a-garden competition initiated by First Lady, Remi Tinubu, to encourage women to go into farming, has suffered a setback, as estate chairmen are preventing some women from growing crops in their vicinity.

A widow, Ebere Mogbo, who addressed newsmen yesterday in Abuja, complained how she was prevented from planting 2,000 seedlings around her vicinity, at the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Estate, Wuse 2.

Mogbo said: “The problem is that when the First Lady Remi Tinubu, told women to have a garden in their homes, I felt like instead of staying at home mourning my husband, I should join them because there is a prize attached to it which is N25 million. So I came here to begin cultivation where I have a property.

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“I have started to make things better. I went to Orange Market in Mararaba to buy 2,000 tubers of yam.

“When I started, nobody stopped me. All of a sudden, one man emerged, Sani Abba-Kura claiming to be the chairman of the estate. I do not know him. He stopped me. We have already planted some yams.

“He drove me away with some remnants of yam seedlings. I pleaded with him. My husband worked with him and he was their senior. He retired as a top executive director in PHCN.

“So, I have been struggling with 2,000 seedlings. On Saturday when we came here he drove us away and threatened my life. The yams I have planted have been overtaken by weeds.

“I lived here for 9 years and I am not aware of any policy preventing occupants from growing crops in their environment.

“I think his annoyance is because when he wanted to sell the whole estate the owners of the flats agreed to it. But I refused. I told him that I was not going to sell my property when one powerful politician wanted to buy the whole estate.

“This is not the idea of Obasanjo for people to sell property of owners. That is where the animosity started.”

But Sani Abba-Kura, in his defense, explained that Mogbo had rented the property out, adding that it was against the policy of the estate for occupants or property owners to grow crops inside the estate.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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