Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) have expressed utter disappointment in the way and manner in which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been going about promoting “Tradermoni,” an empowerment programme of the Federal Government, describing the approach as a pure bribery of voters and calling for immediate suspension of the scheme.
SMBLF, which met in Abuja on Wednesday, made this demand in its 3-point communique entitled: “Osinbajo Doing Advance Vote Buying,” and signed by Mr Yinka Odumakin on behalf of South-West, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South-East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle-Belt).
The leaders also took a swipe at the authorities concerning the high level insecurity in the country, and in particular what they termed as “the irresponsible response of the police to the recent terror visited on the home of the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, declaring that a government that cannot rise up to the challenge of securing the polity was not fit to be in office.
SMBLF while expressing great disappointment in the vice-president Osinbajo for what it described as “his continued corruption of the electorate in a funny scheme named ‘Tradermoni,’ noted that Osinbajo commenced “his odious outing with this corrupt act shortly before the Osun governorship election when he went to dole out cash to would-be voters and distributing forms in which beneficiaries were asked to fill in their PVC details and phone number.”
“A few days back, he took the perverse scheme to Lagos accompanied by the governor of Lagos and the APC governorship candidate in Lagos state, an act that totally betrayed the political manipulation of the polity with pecuniary tools,” SMBLF recalled.
The leaders said it was rather unfortunate that the vice-president, a professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was not ashamed to be doing what they termed this open “see and buy” ahead of elections while he continued to preach virtues when convenient.
They, therefore, demanded an immediate suspension of the scheme, saying that the manner in which Osinbajo had been going about it presently had rubbished the whole anti-corruption campaign of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.