The Buhari Osinbajo Solidarity Front (BOSF) has asked Peoples Democratic Party to apologise to President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for condemning TraderMoni and other special investment programmes of the Federal Government aimed at empowering small scale traders.
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Mr. Liberty Olawale Badmus, BOSF hinged its call for apology on the social investment programme of the Federal Government, TraderMoni, which the PDP had criticized.
Under the TraderMoni programme, a soft, interest-free loan of N10,000 was given to traders to help boost their businesses.
Reacting to the call by former Vice President and candidate of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on government to give all Nigerian households N10,000 each as palliative against COVID 19, the group demanded apology from PDP for criticizing the TraderMoni.
“For many who remember how the opposition People’s Democratic Party and its Presidential Candidate pooh-poohed the TraderMoni initiative, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s latest fancy is either a joke, mischief but also certainly outright high hypocrisy!
“Put differently, the recent call by the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (at the last general elections), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, advocating that the Federal Government of Nigeria give the sum of Ten (10) Thousand Naira each to citizens could be described as an admission of the usefulness, brilliance and success of the Buhari-Osinbajo led administration’s Social Investment Programmes (SIPs),” it said.
BOSF expressed surprise at Atiku’s suggestion but welcomed the fact that PDP had realized the efficacy of the N10,000 collateral free TraderMoni facility and other Social Investment Programmes.
A statement credited to the former Vice President on his twitter handle, had called on “the Federal and State Governments to provide palliatives to the Nigerian people to enable them to survive, even as they abide by these necessary measures put in place for their safety. “At an approximate 30 million households or thereabouts, the Government should devise modalities to distribute N10, 000 as a supplement for foodstuff to each household, among other palliative measures, with no one left behind.”
BOSF, however, said the Federal Government did not need PDP and Atiku’s advice, who during the time of election, condemned a noble idea in which common Nigerians benefitted, in their quest to ridicule President Buhari’s widely acclaimed feats.
The group lambasted Atiku for condemning the idea then, only for him now in a “shameless volte face, make a strikingly similar suggestion. “
“Thank God Nigerians didn’t believe their arrant political petulance. Thank God Nigerians always knew of Alhaji Atiku’s high hypocrisy and chicanery. We remember how in 2015, the former Vice President admitted that $16billion was spent on power from 1999 to 2007 during his tenure as VP, without the power situation never improving one bit. Atiku himself conceded that the money went down the drain!
“What about when the former VP was in office and some states were clamouring for restructuring of the country, including court actions instituted by some State governments then. Atiku was silent, in clear opposition to those efforts as his and Obasanjo’s administration fought the efforts. But the same Atiku became a restructuring advocate in 2015! Another shameless turnaround! “
The group said, “What has become clear is that the Buhari-Osinbajo administration has already established an effective structure to deliver direct payments to Nigerians as we have seen through the seamless operations of the Social Investment Programmes of the administration in the last several years.”
Noting that all that is required now is to scale up the programmes, the group said, “For instance, N10,000 collateral free TraderMoni facility being implemented by the Bank of Industry is well organised with a State-of-the-Art Control Room and a structure that has biometric information, photographic information and all relevant information of more than two million traders who have already benefitted from TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni.
“Besides, another close to one million vulnerable Nigerians have been receiving Conditional Cash Transfers under the Buhari-Osinbajo administration paid out in N10,000 every two months.”
The group said, “The Federal Government is also feeding close to 10 million school children in the process and over 106,000 cooks have been engaged in 33 States, providing more job opportunities. Over five hundred thousand otherwise unemployed graduates have also been engaged through the SIPs.
“In all these cases, the Buhari administration has devised the means and have been paying millions of Nigerians directly in an open, transparent and efficient manner, even when Atiku and his party were attempting to ridicule the efforts.”
BOSF said worthy of mention was how young Nigerians developed the technology that enables the payment and operations of the Social Investment Programmes without hues and cries.
While calling on Atiku and PDP to apologize to Nigerians for playing bad politics with issues that affect the welfare of the common man, the group urged the Buhari-Osinbajo Administration to scale up its Social Investment Operations to meet the current demands of Nigerians amidst the looming economic challenges that the world is set to face because of COVID-19 Pandemic.