The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State has alleged that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa's proposed disbursement of N10,000 each to market women ahead of the governorship election in the state is an "inducement to secure an undeserving victory at the governorship election".
Speaking through Kingsley Emu, the state Commissioner for Economic Planning, Okowa announced last week that the sum of N10,000, tagged 'Smart Money', would be disbursed to each of the 26,400 petty market women across the state.
However, a statement signed by the APC state Publicity Secretary of the Jones Erue-led State working committee, Sylvester Imonina, titled 'Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa and PDP Should Apologize to APC-Led Federal Government and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege', obtained by SaharaReporters, demanded an apology from Okowa for initially condemning the Social Investment Programme, ‘Tradermoni’, of the APC-led Nigerian government.
The statement read: "More than a year ago, the APC-led Government introduced social investment programmes to wit, Trader Moni and N-Power, to assist the underprivileged in our society and give opportunity to Nigerians to be employed and eke out a living. The programmes were/are meant to bridge the wide gap between the super-rich, the rich and the underprivileged, and also act as springboard for young entrepreneurs, who do not have access to loans from financial institutions, that are usually backed by collateral.
“Today, the hope of many Nigerians whose hopes were dimmed by PDP's years of economic wastages are now rekindled by these programmes. Nigerians, especially the underprivileged are happy with these programmes and the APC-led Federal Government, is more endeared to the masses. In Delta State, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege who understands the feeling of his people embarks on giving out N10,000 each to market women in Delta Central Senatorial District, irrespective of political leaning.
"Also, Sen. Omo-Agege extended this programme to members of different denominations within Christendom. The beneficiaries are the identifiable underprivileged in those churches. Many men of God are appreciative of Sen. Omo-Agege and the APC-led Federal Government's programmes, because the burden of the underprivileged in their midst posed on them is now reduced.
“Despite the laudability of the APC-led government and Sen. Omo-Agege's programmes, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa and/or the government of Delta State, vehemently spoke against the programmes, saying that same is vote-buying, and a way of de-marketing PDP. This, to APC, is an economic assault and onslaught by the PDP and the Government of Delta State against the underprivileged in our society.
“Surprising, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State, some days ago, said he was going to empower market women (probably his PDP members) with N10,000 each as part of his empowerment programmes. The question that comes to mind is, is this not vote-buying by Sen. Okowa? Where is that money coming from? Because there is no budgetary provision for same by the House of Assembly.
“APC demands an apology from PDP and Sen. Okowa. Deltans should know that this is a Greek gift from Sen. Okowa. Deltans should reject Okowa's government.”