Ahead of 2019 election, the Atiku/Obi Advocacy Group has flayed the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) for accusing the leadership of the Senate of playing the script of Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate, by its decision to probe the Social Investment Programme.
The group described the statement by the BMO as vacuous and crass, saying it reeks of desperation to blackmail, to distract, and to stoke controversy.
In a statement on Monday issued by the chairman of the Atiku/Obi Advocacy Group, Fredrick Nwabufo, the group said the Social Investment Programme lacked sincerity and transparency.
“The Buhari administration claims it has spent more than N66bn feeding school children. But it is clear that this programme is an avenue for enriching supporters because it has not improved our education in any way. In fact, the number of out of school children has multiplied since this programme started. The number rose from 10 million to 13.5 million,” the group said.
“And the schools where this feeding programme take place are at best hovels; totally inhabitable. Our education continues to take a nose-dive, yet the government is pumping money into a failed programme to enrich its supporters.
“We are aware that the Buhari Media Organisation enjoys this ‘Social Investment Programme’. In fact, it was designed for them. A group which goes around government ministries and agencies demanding money lacks the integrity and moral right to question a legitimate probe into what has become a political largesse for cronies, hangers-on and minions.
“To show that the Social Investment Programme lacks sincerity, no Nigerian has been lifted out of poverty by this programme. Instead every minute, six Nigerians become extremely poor – according to the World Poverty Clock, which reported that Nigeria is now the poverty capital of the world. In fact, 88 million Nigerians now live in extreme poverty, and with 1.1 million citizens slipping into extreme poverty between June and October, 2018.
“We are also aware that Nigerians are being compelled to show party membership card and voter card to access the N10,000 Trader Moni. Does this not show that the programme is a political gambit?
“And to show that the programme lacks transparency, there is no verifiable data of the beneficiaries, their location and total cash received so far.
“Only patriotic Nigerians who are not benefitting from this farce will support the Senate’s probe of the programme. All well-meaning Nigerians are enjoined to support the effort of the Senate to purge the underbelly of this failed programme.”