April 23, 2024

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FG’s TraderMoni scheme is vote buying, says Transparency International

2 min read

Mojisola Lawal

Transparency International, Nigeria has said that the TraderMoni empowerment scheme for traders by the Federal government is a form of vote buying.

Chairman of the nongovernmental global anti-corruption organisation in Nigeria, Awaal Rasfanjani who stated made the statement on Channels TV Lunch Time Politics added that embarking on such scheme when election is few days away is vote buying.

He said, “No matter what the good intention of the empowerment scheme is, it should have been done before the elections and not when the election is few days away. Whoever advised the Federal government to embark on such programme at this time when political campaign is heightened has erred. It is clearly a case of vote buying.”

Awaal added that “TraderMoni is a kind of vote buying. If the Federal government is sincere about empowering Nigerians they should have done this prior to the election. As election is few days away, doing this at this time is nothing but inducing voters for the elections.”

Commenting on the readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the election, he said “If INEC is determined to follow the rule of law to ensure that the election is free, fair and transparent, then Nigerians will not be engaging in unnecessary discussion of fear of violence.

But they suspect that the security agents, INEC, and the ruling party are trying to manoeuvre the outcome of the election to favour another party, this is when you begin to observe tension during and after the election. I believe that if all stakeholders behave responsibly in the conduct of the election there will not be any cause for alarm. In order not to have a repeat of what happened in Congo in Nigeria, INEC should ensure a free and fair election.”

Meanwhile, Senior Special Assistant to the vice-president on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement has said that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has shown a complete misunderstanding of the TraderMoni empowerment programme designed  by the federal government to support petty traders.

It would be recalled that President Obasanjo in his state of the nation address tagged ‘Points for Concern and Action’, said that there is a sinister motive behind it.

Reacting through his statement, Akande said the vice-president does not personally distribute the money during his visits to the markets but creates awareness and assess the implementation of the programme.

It reads in part, “It is either that the former leader is ignorant of the true workings of TraderMoni and the role of the Vice President in its implementation or perhaps he is on a mischievous mission,” he said.

 

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