THE revelation by the Presidency on Wednesday night that Ebonyi State was among the four states that have got N6bn each from the Federal Government for ranching has continued to generate ripples in some quarters, a source learnt .
This was as both the Federal and Ebonyi State Governments disagreed over the development.
According to Garba Shehu, the Special Assistant to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Ebonyi, Yobe, Katsina and the Federal Capital Territory got N6bn each, totaling N24bn from the Federal Government for reaching and other associated purposes.
Shehu had stated this in an interview on ‘Politics Today’, a programme on Channels Television, on Wednesday night.
Shehu had said, “Yes, Katsina has been given; but Katsina is not the only state that has been given. So far, about N24bn has been disbursed to about four states for ranching and associated activities.
“Yobe has been given, Ebonyi has been given and FCT has been given. More than eight other states are now being processed for this payment.”
But the Ebonyi State Government has rejected the statement credited to the presidential aide, describing it as untrue.
It said it neither received any money nor had any land for ranching in the state.
A statement by Governor David Umahi’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Francis Nwaze, a copy of which was made available to The PUNCH, on Thursday, insisted that anybody who embarked on ranching in the state was doing that on his personal volition.
The statement was titled, ‘Ebonyi State maintains its stance that there is no land for ranching in the state’.
But the President’s aide, Garba Shehu, on Thursday clarified that the N6bn collected by Ebonyi State was not for ranching.
Shehu said the state had a different priority for which it received its share.
The presidential spokesman made the clarification in a statement titled ‘Re: Four states get N24bn’, which he posted on his Facebook page.
The statement read in part, “The Ebonyi State Government is correct in saying that it did not receive N6bn for ranching. In that interview, I said ‘ranching and associated projects.’
“Had the interviewer asked for details, this clarification would have been given in the course of the discussion.”