Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Hoodlums suspected to be political thugs on Tuesday disrupted the distribution of the Federal Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) otherwise known as ‘TraderMoni’, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The hoodlums, numbering over 50, who stormed Lafenwa Market, venue of the programme, equally dragged away two market leaders to an unknown location and later released them.
Our correspondent learnt that the organisers of ‘TraderMoni’ had arrived at the market where they were documenting the traders’ bio-data with their identities already captured when the hoodlums stormed the venue to disrupt the programme.
Some of the traders whose bio-data were yet to be captured before the programme was disrupted, alleged that Chairman of the Abeokuta North West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Monsuru Shorunke, had led the hoodlums who chased away the market men and women.
When our correspondent visited the venue of the event, the Iyaloja of Lafenwa had returned to her stall where she was distributing the sum of N500 to each of the traders at the market, from the money allegedly released by the governor to replace the Tradermoni.
When contacted, the LCDA chairman, Shorunke, confirmed that he led some “boys” to Lafenwa on the order of the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, when news filtered in that some politicians were giving the traders money in exchange of their PVCs.
“I was in front of the governor when we heard that some people came to Lafenwa Market, collecting PVCs from the traders with their names and PVCs numbers.
“And the governor said we should go and find out. So, I got Iyaloja’s phone number and I called her. We later took her to the governor’s house along with Babaloja of Lafenwa.
“We believe it was wrong for them to come and collect people’s PVCs with numbers before the election day. That was what they came to do at Lafenwa.
“My view is that we should be vigilant, not only the electorate but all the politicians in Ogun State. We must be vigilant. These people are ready to confuse our programme by giving out money. They want to give them money because of the coming election and it is wrong,” Shorunke stated.