South East APC Young Progressives Forum, Anambra State Chapter has called on Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo to come clean on the Federal Government’s palliative affair, saying it is becoming hugely embarrassing for the State.
The group described as fraudulent Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo’s use of federal rice palliatives to celebrate the birthday of an illustrious son of Anambra State, Chief Engr. Arthur Eze.
The group in a statement signed by its National Convener, Comrade Paschal Candle and State Coordinator, Comrade Chibuzo Michael argued that Soludo should have looked for a way to immortalise Eze’s name if he wanted to celebrate and honour the elder statesman.
The group regretted that what happened in
Emmanus house, venue for the birthday party in the name of celebrating the Oil magnate was a scam and fraud of the highest order.
The statement reads, “The attention of the South East APC Young Progressives Forum, Anambra State Chapter has been drawn to the fraudulent manner in which the government of Anambra State under the leadership of Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo has been handling the rice palliatives from the federal government.
“It is on record that shortly after the announcement of a set of federal interventions made available to the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy, South East APC Young Progressives Forum raised an alarm alerting ndi Anambra of the said federal palliatives comprising five truckloads of 50kg rice and the sum of N5 billion to purchase additional 100,000 bags of rice and 40,000 bags of maize and fertiliser.
“The governor in the face of the scrutiny hurriedly announced on August 22nd 2023 a draft of measures as Anambra State’s proposed intervention to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy. In the broadcast by the Governor however, he failed to acknowledge receipt of the 5 trucks of Federal rice palliatives nor the N5 billion given to states by the federal government. It was basically a broadcast lacking totally in transparency.
“The South East APC Young Progressives Forum kept vigilance to monitor when the State Governor would direct the distribution of the federal palliatives and the modalities for the distribution. It was therefore not surprising that three months after, Prof. Soludo’s government received the 5 truckloads of rice and N5 billion, they decided to use the said federal rice as campaign materials for Governor Soludo.
“Recently pictures of 10kg bags of rice branded with pictures of Governor Soludo and his party, APGA surfaced with the State Government announcing that it is now ready to share the palliatives it announced back in August. To say that this is a most uncharitable act by Governor Soludo is understatement. This fraudulent and tantamount to stealing of federal palliatives for cheap Political Popularity.
“To further compound the total lack of transparency in Soludo’s belated distribution of the federal rice palliatives, his government did not announce how they intended to ensure the rice is distributed to the most vulnerable people in the state without recourse to partisanship. Our fears were confirmed when it emerged that the rice palliatives from the federal government were being shared to supporters of APGA and the Soludo government. In some of the videos we have seen many places, The Rice Palliatives is for Ndi APGA, as you can see them singing (Nwannem Mutu aka na obi ka Ibata APGA, Ndi Uwa Oma).
“The brazen act in the whole affair by Prof. Charles Soludo was the inexplicable use of federal rice palliatives to celebrate the birthday of an illustrious son of Anambra State, Chief Engr. Arthur Eze (Ozoigbondu). It got to our attention that Prof. Soludo’s government conveyed people (majorly APGA supporters) from different parts of the state to the Emmaus House ground in Awka to share 10kg bags of Soludo branded rice to them as part of 75th birthday celebrations of Chief Engr. Arthur Eze.
“This to us is highly unacceptable. If Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo wants to celebrate and honour the elder statesman, he should look for a way to immortalise his name by naming critical institutions of government or public buildings after Chief Engr. Arthur Eze and not using federal palliatives rice he branded into campaign materials to give to people in the guise of celebrating the birthday of Ozoigbondu. Ozoigbondu cannot take from the poor in order to be celebrated. What happened in Emmanus in the name of celebrating Ozoigbondu is a scam and fraud of the highest order.
“We also feel it is ridiculous for the State Government to share only 10kg bags of rice to the people (even if they are only APGA supporters). In other states, we have seen how their state governors shared 50kg bags of rice and even maize to thousands of their people across the state. Why is Anambra State government sharing only 10kg bag of rice as palliatives after a three-months delay? 10kg bag of rice is not close to what can even be described as palliative measures to help the vulnerable people. Ndi Anambra deserve better!
“Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo also seems not to be talking about the other leg of the Federal palliatives, which involve 40,000 bags of maize and bags of fertilisers to farmers as part of measures to help vulnerable individuals and farmers to boost food productivity. It is obvious that this is not on the agenda of Prof. Charles Soludo. We want to use this opportunity to call upon Mr. Governor to come clean on this whole palliative affair as it is becoming hugely embarrassing for Anambra State.
“Prof. Charles Soludo prides himself as a governor running a transparent government. From his handling of this federal palliatives, it is clear even to the visually impaired that transparency and Soludo cannot be mentioned in the same sentence. Enough is enough. Anambra State is too big a state to be taken for a ride!”