Posted by News Express | 11 April 2020 | 515 times
The N50m donation by lawmaker representing Lagos West Senatorial district, Senator Solomon Adeola has been dogged by controversy as some of his constituents have alleged that the money announced by the lawmaker popularly known as ‘Yayi’ was far less than what was publicly declared.
While announcing the donation on his official twitter page @YAYIAdeola, the lawmaker, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, said the N50m would go to 15,000 persons identified in his constituency as part of relief measures in the face of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
“In a statement announcing the donation to be distributed across the 10 Local Government Areas and 18 Local Council Development Areas of the District, Senator Adeola stated that the gesture is to complement the effort of Lagos State Government under Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in ameliorating the hardship and inconveniences of the COVID- 19 Lockdown of the State adding that as much as possible Lagosians should abide by all precautionary measures rolled out by government to contain and eliminate the Coronavirus particularly social distancing”.
“In addition to all measures taken by the National Assembly as donation and palliative towards the fight against COVID-19, I deem it fit to go a step further in view of the huge population of the District and the many poor and vulnerable constituents and I urge constituents to see the donation as my contribution to lessen the inconveniences of the lockdown with a view to return of normalcy soon.”
The lawmaker also posted some pictures on his twitter handles with the caption “Lockdown Cash Relief disbursements still going on across Lagos West. I have since directed that social distance and other precautionary measures be adhere to in the presentations”
One of his constituents, Sewanu Isaac had said “Thank you our Senator but don’t be surprise that this cash relief won’t get to necessary quarters. Ordinary foodstuff, greedy and self-centered politicians hoard it to themselves. History will be kind to you. Thank you”.
In his response, Adeola said “Thank you sir. I am trying to monitor too that is why pictures and videos are done and we have phone numbers of beneficiaries and we are cross checking. But the money cannot possibly go round everyone that is needy. The hope is that other sources will complement mine own effort”.
However, a group under the aegis of ‘Political Renewal’ claimed that the donation announced by the lawmaker was fraudulent and not transparent.
The group alleged that Adeola lied as the total money given to his constituents is mere N2.8m and not the N50m he publicly announced.
“The N50 million cash gifts by Senator Adeola to people of the Lagos West has turned out to be a fraud after all” the group said.
According to the group, their investigations revealed that though money was shared among the 28 Local Government Areas —10 LGs and 18 LCDAs— constituting the Senatorial District, the amount was a far cry from the N50 million said to have been expended by the Senator popularly known as Yayi.
“The purported N50 million, if divided by the 28 local councils in his district, ought to be N1.7 million per local government. Divide this by seven which is an average number of wards in each local government and you get N255, 000 per ward,” the Group explained.
“Virtually all of the Chairmen of APC Local Governments branches in the Senatorial District disclosed that the sum of N100, 000 was sent to each Council to be shared to the seven wards thus making it about N14,000 per ward. This is what Senator Yayi is coming up with for the five years he has been Senator.”
The group wondered how N100, 000 could be shared to thousands of party faithful in each Local Government, not to talk of the entire populace.
They therefore, unanimously resolved to reject the amount which if added together is a paltry N2.8 million, a far cry from the N50 million announced to the world.
“This act by the Senator is not new. Since assumption of office, the Senator had never deemed it fit to recourse back to his constituents, neither had he initiated any tangible project that would benefit them,” the statement concluded.
Along the same vein, party faithful who claimed to have worked for the Senator claimed that he is evasive and too cunning for them. “Can you believe that the Senator has over ten telephone lines? Call him on any of them and you won’t get him no matter how many times you try. Not only that, he is fond of failing in his promises. Ask any leader in his senatorial district, they’ll tell you the type of person he is,” one claimed.
However, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, the Senator described the statement of the group as blatant falsehood and an attempt to politicise the issue of palliatives during the lockdown.
He also said rather than joining hands with the federal government and Lagos state, it is unfortunate that some people are trying to politicise the issue of the palliatives.
“The attention of Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) and chairman Senate Committee on Finance has been drawn to stories on some blogs and social media of purported fraud allegation on the disbursement of his N50million donation as palliative for poor and vulnerable persons, families and groups during the COVID-19 lockdown in Lagos West”.
The Senator, who said he will not be dragged into the blatant falsehood contained in the sponsored write-ups, regrets the shameful attempt to politicize the issue of palliatives during a preventive lockdown for the containment of the global pandemic that is ravaging humanity on the altar of local petty politics.
“He also stressed that the identity of the brain behind the campaign of calumny and his fraudulent antecedents are known as no amount of subterfuge by his minions and faceless group can wipe the trail of their huge financial inducement for the hatchet write ups publication”.
“For the records my donation was not a political campaign gambit as there is no election anytime soon and neither is it a reward for party members or voters in the largest senatorial district of some 12 million people”.
” It is a relief package targeted mostly at the poor and vulnerable individuals, families and groups for sustenance during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. I decided on cash donation in cognizance of the precautionary measures for the containment of the pandemic and for beneficiaries to address their specific needs on their own during the lockdown”.
” And from the pictorial and video evidences I am seeing on the social media I am satisfy that the palliative is achieving its goal on targeted persons, families and group without any controversy” he stated.
Senator Adeola said the ongoing disbursement which enters its 5th day is being implemented by a 6 – member Committee in each of the 10 LGAs and 18 LCDAs of Lagos West with replication at the ward levels adding that beneficiaries cut across individuals, families and groups like market women associations and League of Imams with sums ranging from #2,500 for individuals and graduated upward from #5000 to #250,000 for families and groups based on need.
The senator said he remained focus in discharging his duties as a senator which credible achievements for constituents including facilitation of skill acquisition training for over 4000 women and youth and 4 ICT Centers in 4 Secondary schools since the commencement of the 9th Senate stressing however that his donation is his modest contribution in the fight against COVID-19 that is a global pandemic and not a political payback.
A chieftain of the party said the donation by the lawmaker is not for party members who worked for his election, but for needy who either belong to APC or not.
According to him, it will be unreasonable for the politician to donate N50m to everybody in Lagos West which is the largest senatorial district in Nigeria.
He also said they have identified the person sponsoring the attack against Adeola “as a prominent serving politician in Lagos state who is desperate to represent Lagos West in the Senate in 2023 and as such doing everything possible to rubbish Yayi’s image”.
“This particular politician also gave out palliatives to his constituents but they rejected it and caused him a great deal of embarrassment. They are now looking for ways to rubbish Yayi too but they have failed” .
On the allegation that Adeola doesn’t pick calls of his constituents, he said “It is true. I am very close to him and I experience the same thing. The issue is, his phone rings virtually from morning till night and if he wants to answer all the calls, which means he won’t do any work at all. What people like me and others do is to send him a text. He usually responds when he is free and the issues are resolved”. (Daily Independent)
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