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SURE-P funds tearing Lagos PDP apart, ACN alleges

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By OLASUNKANMI AKONI DAPOAKINREFON

ACTION Congress of Nigeria,ACN, weekend, claimed that sharing of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, funds among the Lagos People’s Democratic Party, PDP, was currently tearing the PDP apart.

ACN called for an independent investigation into how the money accruing to SURE-P had been disbursed since the inception of the programme, with a view to establish what extent the funds had been abused.

But the Lagos State PDP dismissed the allegations that the sharing of SURE-P funds was causing disaffection among its members.

In a reaction, State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr Taofik Gani, described the allegation as untrue saying “Lagos PDP is not been torn apart. Lagos PDP is waxing stronger. All our leaders are working together, but we all know what the problem of the ACN is. We, however, want to warn, that we are not going to allow any of our leaders to be murdered by anyone. The ACN is always happy to cause disaffection among members of PDP.

The SURE-P is a Federal Government programme that has a credible national coordinator in the person of Dr Christopher Kolade that will not allow any of the state coordinators to mismanage the funds.

I do not know where the ACN has gotten the false information from to cause confusion amongst us.”

Gani added “Lagosians are asking that the ACN should give us an account of how monies for the SURE-P for both the state and local government areas were utilized.”

However ACN said; ‘Today, the truth has prevailed as the PDP members themselves have confirmed that the SURE-P funds are being shared among them across the federation. Thanks to the alleged hijacking of the funds meant for the PDP members in Lagos State by the Bode George faction and the crisis that it has generated.

The nation can now see that the Jonathan Administration has willfully converted the money accruing from SURE-P to campaign funds. This is a very serious violation of the constitution, because the State Implementation Committee, a body not recognised by law, has been set up to distribute the SURE-P largesse to PDP members in all the states.

Recall that money being spent on fuel subsidies was in the past taken out of the Federation Account money that would have been divided among the three tiers of government in accordance with the revenue allocation formula.

’’But by virtue of the SURE-P arrangement, part of the funds are now available for the Federal Government to share freely by approving contracts, programmes and activities in accordance with its whims and caprices.

“The PDP-controlled Federal Government has now seen the accruing huge funds as money which may well be spent with special favour for its cronies and party affiliates, without regard to the constitution”.

For President Jonathan, this is an impeachable offence. In order to buttress our point on the abuse of the SURE-P funds, most-if not all-state coordinators for President Jonathan’s campaign in 2011 are also the current state coordinators for SURE-P, adding that this is not a mere coincidence but a well-orchestrated attempt to give the Jonathan campaign an unfair head-start ahead of 2015 – with public funds.”

On alleged crisis in Lagos PDP over the SURE-P largesse, ACN said a public statement by a faction of the PDP in Lagos let the cat out of the bag, saying the PDP factional statement said, inter alia; ‘’Bode Oyedele cannot coordinate Sure-P in Lagos State. We reject him. He has packed all Bode George’s agents as Sure-P beneficiaries.

Is this the objective of Sure-P? Some local governments like Eti-Osa, Ajeromi, Lagos Islands among others. Please find out how they got the beneficiaries. ‘In Eti-Osa there are names of criminals as beneficiaries, especially Ward HI. This is a waste of Subsidy money and defeating the objective of the programme.

There are responsible eminent citizens who should be contacted to verify and screen the submission of names for beneficiaries but Bode George’s loyalists are putting names of touts and miscreants for his own personal agenda. We won’t allow this to happen. We intend to go to court to obtain an order to dissolve the state Exco if the Caretaker Committee won’t do it.’’.


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