By Segun James
The Atiku-Agbaje Media Engagement Network (AAMEN) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government of illegality and playing politics with its disbursement of N10,000 TraderMoni loans to petty businesses.
Describing the gesture as an insult on the sensibility of Nigerians, AAMEN also challenged the federal government to tell the world what the traders could do with N10,000.
The AAMEN in a statement by its Executive Secretary, Felix Oboagwina, wondered why the money was being disbursed very close to the 2019 elections if there were no political undertone behind the move.
“TraderMoni is vote buying; pure and simple. It represents a grand fraud, a plot to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians. But it is dead on arrival. The fact that the money is coming a few months to an election shows clearly that the government is out to bribe the electorate to forgive its trespasses for past injustice.”
AAMEN said unlike the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari, a PDP government of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi possessed the pedigree of tried and tested businessmen and philanthropists to create an enabling environment for small businesses to thrive, flourish and make profit.
“A government that has increased the pump price of petrol from N85 to N145 per litre, and under which kerosene now sells for N245 up from the 2015 price of N50 is now doling out N10,000 that cannot fill one tank of petrol. What an insult!” the statement read.
AAMEN accused the government of using public funds to play partisan politics, pointing out that APC candidates in the states were being showcased as they made the rounds of the markets with the vice president.
The organisation, also, took exception to the fact that target beneficiaries were being asked to register their PVC numbers, with those who refuse being denied the funds.
“A government that has budgeted N86 million for the President’s hair and has confessed to spending N3.5 million on a VIP detainee, is now giving N10,000 to traders! Nothing can be more evil. It clearly shows that APC has reduced the country to the Orwellian Animal Farm, where access to the country’s commonwealth is by some twisted criteria that officially considers some people as the wretched of the earth for whom pitiful handouts should suffice.”
Oboagwina said the fact that traders actually accepted the amount demonstrated the extent to which the Nigerian citizen had been impoverished and subjugated since the current government took over in 2015.
Highlighting the fact that the disbursed sum came from the national treasury, AAMEN urged traders to take the money but vote their conscience.
“Is it not the height of hypocrisy that a government that has spent its entire lifespan complicating the lives of Nigerians through harsh economic policies has suddenly resorted to issuing a pitiable sum as a palliative measure to small businesses?” Oboagwina said.
“Nigerians will not forget that this government destroyed the Nigerian economy through further devaluing the naira, increasing the pump price of fuel, failing to deliver good roads and power, causing widespread unemployment and providing no project, programme or policy specifically targeted at the welfare of the Nigerian masses. “
According to AAMEN, it was a pity that the Vice President, a supposed church Pastor and university Professor, has turned himself into the poster boy for this fraud and perfidy.
“Today, inflation has shot through the clouds because of government’s failure to pay attention to the means of production. For example, at the Apapa Ports, transporting a 40-foot container has soared from N150,000 in 2016 to N700,000 today, due to the government’s inability to maintain the road with resultant queues stretching for endless kilometers and it takes one trailer up to two months to do a turnaround,” it said. “These and more are those driving inflation.”