Anambra, Others plan to Squander 50b for Elections – Intersociety.
A civil liberty group,Intersociety has raised alarm about plans by governors in 20 States in Nigeria including Anambra state to squander 50B on wasteful spending with respect to March 18th governorship and state House of Assembly elections , ANAMBRA PEOPLE reports.
Part of the group’s report reads:
“From our findings, not less than N50b belonging to taxpayers of the above named 20 States are most likely to be wasted or squandered, out of which each of the 20 States is projected to engage in at least N2b wasteful spending. Anambra State is projected with N2b-N2.5b lavish spending while the three higher spending States are Lagos (projected with N10b spending), Rivers (projected with N6b-N10b spending) and Delta (projected with N5b-N6b spending).
Each of the remaining 16 States is most likely to wastefully spend at least N2b. The beneficiaries of the wasteful States’ spending sprees include traditional rulers and chairs of town unions, religious leaders and market and transportation leaders (where necessary). These recipients will be captured under “mobilization of voters’ logistics”. Other key beneficiaries are State Assembly candidates of the Govs’ political parties (cash or material vote-buying and logistics supports), “elected” or appointed Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen or Chairpersons (for ‘INEC LGA admin heads and SPOs, POs and APOs’ and cash or material vote-buying supports’).
Also in the involved are collectively and individually compromised security agents especially police and military personnel as well as conformist INEC’s substantive and ad hoc top officials such as conformist National Commissioners, RECs and Collation Officers in Charge. Feb 25
Specifically on Anambra, the group said:
“As at Thursday, 9th and Friday, 10th March 2023, over N1.2b was reported to have been lavishly spent and disbursed from the State coffers and according to reliable information obtained, the whopping State funds were disbursed to “each of the 30 State ruling Party’s House of Assembly Candidates who received N20m, totaling N600m (for logistics supports such as cash sums for cash vote-buying or procurement of food or personal items like cartons of Indomie, wrappers (abada clothes), small bags of rice, packs of tin tomatoes, tins of red and groundnut oils, etc for material vote-buying). Each of the 21 Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairmen also reportedly received N30m, totaling N630m (for ‘mobilization supports’ including for sorting electoral officers such as SPOs, POs and APOs and INEC LGA admin officers).
The LGAs Caretakers were also reportedly directed to use part of the N30m for electronic money transfer vote-buying using the likes of ‘O’Pay mobile banking, etc, for speedy and comfort deliveries. Others reported to have been listed to benefit from the second batch of the State funds (yet to be released and disbursed as at Wednesday, 15th March 2023) are conformist security operatives (police, army and navy personnel), traditional rulers/PGs and some influential market leaders and INEC top officials. The second batch, expected in multiple hundreds of millions of naira, is likely to hit the ground before end of Friday, 17th March 2023.
In all, Anambra State Government is expected to wastefully spend from the State coffers N2.5b between 9th and 19th March 2023 for purposes of pre Election Day, Election Day and post Election Day Project of securing many, if not most of the 30 State Assembly seats by all means legitimately and illegitimately possible or achievable”
Intersociety equally calls on anti graft agencies to place these 20 states under their watch-list and dispassionately do that justly required of them by law to save the electoral system.
“The security agencies must resist being compromised and pocketed by the panicking and desperate Govs. The violence prone flashpoints highlighted in this statement must be nipped in the bud with adequate and proactive security arrangements”. The group stated.