OrderPaperToday- The Senate was thrown into a rowdy session following a point of order by the Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti) who accused the APC-led government of buying Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) with funds meant for the Social Intervention Programme of the administration.
According to Olujimi, forms for the Social Intervention Programme have been converted to means of obtaining PVCs in exchange for cash payments.
While flaunting one of the alleged forms, she said: “One of the forms is here with me and it is being disbursed by the special intervention body. They are now using the forms that are meant for all Nigerians for political reasons. This form here has ‘I stand with Buhari’ written on it and it also has a place where your PVC will be written with your gender and an attachment from Access bank where money will be dispensed to you.
“There is no corruption greater than people using our collective purse to maintain a political party. It is an election year and people are using these funds to buy PVC and put them to use on election day.”
Following Olujimi’s submission, the Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan sought to speak on the matter but was unable to proceed following a heated exchange of words between PDP and APC Senators with Senator Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi) and Senator Adeola Olamilekan (APC, Lagos) in the thick of the action.
Following several minutes of bickering, the Senate Leader finally spoke, arguing that the social programme of the current administration is computerised and is the most transparent in the history of the country.
“Let me say from the onset that the social intervention programme of this administration is computer based and very transparent,” Lawan said amidst loud chants of “NO!” from the opposition PDP Senators.
He continued: “What she saw is certainly not true. We inherited poverty that the PDP administrations from 1999 to 2015 forced on Nigerians. We inherited empty treasury, they squandered and embezzled everything. Nigerians were impoverished and it became necessary to entrench a system under the office of the Vice-President who has shown complete transparency, accountability and probity in this programme.”
Speaking further, Lawan took a dig at the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan over the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program (SURE-P) of his administration, saying: “By the way, we were here when SURE-P or ‘UNSURE-P’ was instituted and all the money in our treasury was stolen.”
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, used the opportunity to allow further comments on matter as the red chamber resolved to set up an ad-hoc Committee to investigate the matter.