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Confusion in Senate as lawmakers suspect TraderMoni handout as ‘vote buying scam’

More reactions have continued to trail an alleged use of the Federal Government’s special intervention project funds, TraderMoni Scheme for alleged vote buying ahead of presidential election next year.

Trouble had started when Senate Minority Leader, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi claimed that the funds had become “politicised” as beneficiaries were being asked to write their names, gender and details of permanent voter cards (PVCs).
In her submission which attracted rowdy session, Mrs. Olujimi averred that “Right now, the funds are being used for political reasons and they are being dispensed and given freely to those people who can bring up their PVCs. One of the forms is here with me. They are now using the funds meant for all Nigerians for political reasons.
“This is one of the forms (raising it), which has on it, ‘I stand with Buhari’. It has a place where your PVC will be written alongside your gender and an attachment from Access Bank where money will be disbursed to you.
“There is no corruption greater than people using our collective fund to maintain a political party. There is a need for a committee to be set up to look into this issue,” Olujimi said.
But in a swift midway into her presentation, Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan, bumped in and described the allegation as unfounded, saying the scheme had been described as the best social intervention programme of the federal government since the return of democracy.
“I listened attentively to the motion by Senator Olujimi. I want to say that the social intervention programme of this administration is transparent. For the first time in the history of social intervention programme in Nigeria, we have proof that anywhere you are in Nigeria, you can apply,” Lawan averred.
At the height of the rowdy happenstance, Senate President Bukola Saraki restored by subsequently giving the floor to Senator Dino Melaye to move his point of order.
First, the Kogi West lawmaker asked that Olujimi’s motion should first be seconded before contributions are made. The chamber became divided along party lines, with Lawan requesting protection and an opportunity to state his point. Saraki agreed.
At the height of the drama, Senate adopted the prayer that the probe should be apolitical and also called for an investigation into the Sure-P programme.
Business Hilights recalls that in the last few months, Vice president Yemi Osinbajo, had been visiting several states, sharing the TraderMoni packs of N10,000 to petty traders who are expected to repay the intervention loan in six months.
Majority of market women interviewed in Lagos said as far as they are concerned, the facility is their own share of government’s free monies which political office holders had been enjoying without any form of repayment.