The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has accused the Buhari administration through the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, of engaging in advanced vote buying” ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The group, which met in Abuja to deliberate on the state of the nation, noted that the Tradermoni scheme of the government was an avenue to corrupt the electorate ahead of the general elections next year.
In a communiqué jointly signed by leaders of the zones, namely, Yinka Odumakin, South West; Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, South South, Isuwa Dogo, Middle Belt and Chigozie Ogbu, South East, the group demanded the stoppage of the scheme as it shames the anti-corruption campaign of the present administration.
The group said it noted this corrupt act shortly before the Osun governorship election when the vice president doled out cash to would -be voters and distributed forms in which beneficiaries were asked to fill in their PVC details and phone number.
The Buhari administration launched a new initiative under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, called the Trader Moni, which it said, will empower two million petty traders before the end of the year. Under the scheme, beneficiaries can get access to a higher facility ranging from fifteen thousand naira to fifty thousand naira when they repay ten thousand naira within the stipulated time period.
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum however demanded the immediate suspension of this scheme in the manner the VP is going about it presently, saying it shames the whole anti-corruption campaign of the administration.