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Anambra Guber: With Cash Transfers To Vulnerable Residents, Election Monitors Begin Impact Analysis

The Oasis Reporters

November 6, 2021


From left: PDP’s Valentine Ozigbo, Andy Uba of the APC and Charles Soludo of APGA..the threesome appear to be the most talked about gubernatorial candidates in Anambra 2021.

As the Anambra State gubernatorial election gets underway, election monitors have set plans in motion to analyse if cash transfer to the poorest of the poor would have any impact in the voting pattern of the people regarded as one of the richest states with a high per capita income and the hugest millionaire per square metre distribution in Nigeria. Voting extended till Sunday, November 7, 2021 by one hour.

Would any federal government induced conditional cash transfer under a scheme like Tradermoni sway the citizenry to vote for Nigeria’s ruling party, APC whose flag bearer is Andy Uba?
Or would they choose former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Professor Charles Soludo, the APGA candidate. The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) is the ruling party in the state. The other main party candidate Valentine Ozigbo of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, make up the three leading parties amongst an intimidating array of first rate candidates only a state like Anambra can put forward.

As far as background information goes, in the buildup to the Osun gubernatorial election, Mr Buhari’s regime launched the TraderMoni scheme, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo spearheading the event. It may have helped in upping up the votes of the APC in an election riddled with voter intimation and unbridled violence in which they lost to the PDP, but was upturned to give the lacklustre APC administration a technical win in the courts. But that was Osun where governance was at a snail speed in the provision of social amenities and payment of workers wages.

Anambra is a different kettle of fish. Everyone there is rich in the sense that all Anambra born people understand the concept of wealth and the discipline entailed in making it. A poor man in terms of cash can become wealthy tomorrow.

An online posts seen recently said, “so days to the Anambra governorship election, President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime” was said to “have begun cash distribution to residents in the state.

“In 2018, Mr Buhari’s regime exploited people’s poverty and widespread hunger distributing cash to residents days to the Osun governorship election, choosing the period to launch TraderMoni as it appeared the ruling APC might lose to PDP.

Mr Buhari’s regime, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, announced it had resumed payment of the Conditional Cash Transfer to 15,768 vulnerable households in Anambra.

Ralph Enukorah, the Anambra State Cash Office, said the beneficiaries cut across 11 of the 21 local government areas.

Mr Enukorah disclosed that the payments started with six pilot local government areas considered poorest in the state, including Awka North, Anambra West, Dunukofia, Ihiala, Anyamelum and Orumba South.

He added that the government had extended cash distribution to Awka South, Onitsha North, Ogbaru, Nnewi North and Anambra East.

The unit head said the register of beneficiaries was generated by a sister organisation, the social operations coordinating unit, which goes to villages and wards to generate data on vulnerable households.

He said the payment was made every two months, with beneficiaries getting N10,000 in addition to any arrears for those not paid in previous months.

“The federal government is paying the beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer, as a social intervention programme of the Buhari administration,” the official explained. “Every month, the poor and vulnerable households are paid N5,000, and in Anambra, we have a total of 15,768 beneficiaries spread across 11 local government areas.”

In the buildup to the Osun election, Mr Buhari’s regime launched the TraderMoni scheme, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo spearheading the event.

Former education minister Oby Ezekwesili had accused the regime of corrupting the election via the TraderMoni launch in Osun.

“The federal government either failed to be ethically circumspect or, in fact, deliberately decided to corrupt the elections in Osun by handing out cash to traders just before the state elections,” Ms Ezekwesili had tweeted. “Such behaviour after the grand corrupting of voters in Ekiti is reprehensible.”

The APC went on to win the contentious election, initially declared inconclusive by INEC. Before the rerun, the PDP candidate Isiaka Adeleke was leading the poll. Gboyega Oyegbola of the APC was declared the eventual winner.

Regarding the resumed cash distribution, Bernard Nwobodo, the Payment Service Provided (PSP) representative, said the system was automated to reduce the stress of beneficiaries collecting the cash.

Mr Nwobodo added that the National Cash Transfer Office had begun digitalising the payment process allowing beneficiaries to use ATM cards to collect the cash.

He added that the process had been activated in some LGAs, including Ihiala, Awka North, Orumba South, and will be extended to others.

“When these cards are activated, the beneficiaries can access the money through the bank ATM and other financial services providers for easy withdrawal of their money upon verification,” he said.

Will the cash transfer impress Anambra people enough to pick the APC candidate as choice in the election ?

Results will begin to stream in at the end of today’s voting. Nigerians eagerly await the results. They want to know if 10,000 naira would impress Anambra people enough to vote in a particular direction.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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