The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has accused Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo of bribing voters with TraderMoni initiative ahead of the 2019 general election.
The group made the allegation in a communiqué issued after meeting in Abuja.
The document was jointly signed by Yinka Odumakin for the south-west, Bassey Ewa-Henshaw for south-south, Isuwa Dogo for the middle belt and Chigozie Ogbu for the south-east.
The vice-president was accused of “bribing voters” with the TraderMoni scheme, officially called Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
It is designed to help petty traders expand their trade through the provision of collateral free loans of N10,000. The loans are repayable within a period of six months.
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum demanded an end to the scheme, saying it is against the anti-corruption campaign of the administration.
“Meeting expressed utter disappointment in the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo for his continued corruption of the electorates in a funny scheme named ‘Tradermoni’,” the communiqué read.
“We noted his odious outing with this corrupt act shortly before the Osun governorship election when he went to dole out cash to would-be voters and distributing forms in which beneficiaries were asked to fill in their PVC details and phone number.
“A few days back, he took the perverse scheme to Lagos accompanied by the Governor of Lagos and the APC governorship candidate in Lagos state, an act that totally betrayed the political manipulation of the polity with pecuniary tools.
“It is rather unfortunate that a Professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria is not ashamed to be doing this open ‘see and buy’ ahead of elections while he continues to preach virtues when convenient.
“We demand immediate suspension of this scheme in the manner the VP is going about it presently as it shames the whole anti-corruption campaign of the administration. It is pure bribery of voters.”
Osibanjo, accompanied by Akinwumi Ambode, governor of Lagos, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had visited Ketu and Bariga markets to give out loans to traders.