A group known as Rural Community Development Outreach (RCDO) has warned against plot to blackmail state governors, with the intention to highjack from them the 5 billion naira subsidy palliative announced for states by President Bola Tinubu.
Recall that the President had announced disbursement of the funds to states to cushion the effect of petrol subsidy removal by his government.
RCDO, in a press statement, however said it has uncovered plans by some people to highjack the funds from governors, while also cajoling them to submission through blackmail and unfavourable media reports.
The statement signed by the group’s Nigerian Coordinator, Mr Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe, and Secretary, Mr Danjuma Othman Mohammed, said the move will impoverish the rural people who the funds are meant to pull out of poverty.
“As the nation witnesses an inspiring shift towards rural development and agricultural revitalization, the looming threat to the equitable distribution of the recently announced N5billion palliative has set off alarm bells.
“The N5billion palliative, a key component of President Bola Tinubu’s intervention program to mitigate the impact of the oil subsidy removal, is now a pawn in the hands of political power-brokers.
“Our intelligence reveals a troubling pattern where seasoned political operatives are leveraging their influence to arm twist state governors into parting with the funds.
“Those who dare to stand against this coercion and refuse to succumb to the pressure of sharing the N5billion with political cronies and godfathers are being confronted with threats of media manipulation through foreign-based online newspapers, beyond the reach of Nigeria’s legal jurisdiction.”
RCDO called on Nigerian governors to remain resilient, and resist any attempt by power brokers in their states to take what belongs to the masses.
It mentioned states like Anambra, Bauchi, Borno and Adamawa as some of the states that have started taking actions to rescue their people by marshalling out policies to channel their state’s 5 billion naira into agricultural incentives and infrastructural amenities.
The group said if the plot to highjack the funds works, the ordinary citizens and rural communities of the affected states stand to lose the most.
“With over 133 million Nigerians already languishing below the poverty line, there is no room for self-serving politicians to interrupt this trajectory towards inclusive development. These are crucial times that demand unwavering patriotism from all Nigerians.
“We call on the governors, especially Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state and Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State who are already being attacked to resist them, and work for the benefits of the people.”