Facts are beginning to emerge on how the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Delta State spent over N60million to disburse N6m to Delta traders the much celebrate market money schemes tagged ‘Tradermoni’ which was flagged off over the weekend in the state.
The programme which have been trailed by controversy, through investigations was wholly funded by three APC chieftains in the state contrary to the claim by Vice President that it was funded by the federal government.
The scheme which many Nigerians described as a “a vote buying scam,” was yet again enmeshed in another controversy, as many supposed beneficiaries assembled at the palaces of the Olu of Warri and Ovie of Ughelli went back home empty.
Our independent investigation revealed that contrary to what VP Osibanjo or APC wants Nigerians to believe, the immediate past Governor of the state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resource, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Executive Director Project in NDDC, Engr Samuel Adjogbe bankrolled the event in Delta.
According to our inside source, an APC chieftain in Delta State, who spoke to us anonymously at Ughelli, told our correspondent that Kachikwu, Uduaghan and Adjogbe contributed N20million each to fund the programme which includes the hiring of the three choppers which was used to airlift the VP and party leaders to the three locations visited by Osinbajo.
He added that on the whole, the money disbursed was not more than N6m in the three markets visited in Delta, N1.4m each was distributed to market women at the Warri main market, Ughelli main market and Ogbogonogo market in Asaba.
However, the balance N600,000 each which was supposed to be given to 180 APC women, 60 each selected from the three senatorial district, at Warri, Ughelli and Asaba didn’t get to them as many of the APC women who waited late into the night left disappointed and grumbling.
Speaking at the palace of the of Ughelli, our source said: “I think our party got this whole thing wrong, how can you spend well over N60m to distribute just mere N6m, does it make any economic sense, we could have done better because to me, it does not add up?
“To make matters worse, most of our party women, 60 each from the three senatorial districts went home dejected, because as soon as the Vice President left the venue of the events, those charged with the tasked of distributing the money also vanished.
“Would it not have been better if this money is channeled through the party organs to reward party women? I want to believe it is a vote buying scheme and campaign strategy, is meant to lure the electorate to vote for APC.
He added that same leaders who contributed the money to please the Vice President and President Buhari are not accessible to the party members in the state.
Meanwhile, Osinbajo has faulted the position of opposition party that the tradermoni and market money schemes under the Federal Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme is meant to lure the electorate to vote for the APC.
Professor Osinbajo stated this while fielding questions from journalists at the Asaba International Airport, Asaba on his way back to Abuja after visiting Warri and Asaba.
He said it was worrisome that some persons would think that the trademoni and market money empowerment programmes of the Federal government were a ploy to seek for votes.
The Vice President said the funds for the empowerment programmes were duly approved by the National Assembly which is strictly meant to assist market men and women enhance their businesses without any ulterior motives.
“The scheme was duly approved by the National Assembly, if they don’t like the empowerment programmes because they are on the other side then it calls for concern.”