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Friday, February 1, 2019


...says Trader Moni Is Vote Buying Strategy

...As Vice President Storms Uyo, Friday

Gov Emmanuel 

By Mfonobong Ukpong

Amidst news of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo's visit on Friday for the disbursement of N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira) to select traders at Akpan Andem and Ikot Ekpene Markets, traders have lampooned the gesture describing it as desperate measure to curry support.

They have expressed concern on why the APC led federal government has suddenly deemed it necessary to disburse such meagre amount of money which they described as meaningless and grossly inadequate for capital investment.

Speaking with newsmen in Uyo, Thursday, the traders through their leaders said they were surprised when they got information of the visit, noting that it was being highly politicized.

Reacting, the President ,Akwa Ibom Traders Association, Comrade. Idorenyin Raphael who doubles as the Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Traders and Market Matters, maintained that no amount of political gimmick from the APC would sway the minds of traders in the state whom he said had since endorsed Governor Udom Emmanuel for a second term.

"Some months ago, APC agents went to Itam and Akpan Andem Market to collect PVC and BVN from traders, and also asked them to indicate their political party.".

"If you are giving people N10,000, and you bring sentiments into it, insisting that the person must join APC or vote for your party, then that's absurd. It won't work," Raphael said.

He recounted that the traders are enjoying the new markets executed for them by the Udom Emmanuel led government, the free ticket days, the low cost of foodstuff made possible by the agricultural revolution in the state,  and are already settled that the governor had their interest at heart.

He also faulted the process of choosing beneficiaries for the Traders Moni, alleging that unlike Gov Emmanuel's loan which goes to everyone despite political differences, the federal government traders' monies are strictly for political patronage.

Also speaking, the Vice President, Akwa Ibom Traders, Comrade Umoh Patrick who disclosed that  he  "This is my first time of hearing that Osinbajo would be coming on Friday to disburse 'Trader Money' in the market. My question is 'why is he coming few weeks to the election to share money to traders. Of course, it is our money, so the traders will collect, but i can assure the APC that such won't buy our conscience".

"You can't compare the N10,000 peanut with the soft loan the Governor has given us which we have benefitted from. Some of us collected N1 Million, some for N500, 000, some collected N200,000 ranging on the money they needed to boost their businesses".

On his part, Akparawa Effiong Ekpenyong, Secretary, Akwa Ibom Traders Association and President, Timber Dealers Association in the state, described the 'Trader Moni' scheme of the federal government as an attempt to woo voters. He however noted that if that was the plan of the APC, they have failed in Akwa Ibom as they won't get a single vote from traders.

Ekpenyong wondered why the APC led government cannot point to one single project they have executed in the state in the past three and half years, but instead is going about bribing voters with peanuts in the name of 'Trader Money'.

"Iam viewing it as a ploy aimed at luring voters, otherwise no better explanation"

He slammed the APC led government at the centre for having nothing to show in Akwa Ibom State.

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