By Inyali Peter
An All Progressive Congress (APC) Group in Cross River state have petitioned the state government and the coordinator of the Federal Government N-Power scheme in the state Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo over alleged fraud.
The group, under the aegis of Coalition of APC Support Group in the state, addressed the petition to the national coordinator of the program and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo.
In the petition titled “Massive Fraud in the Verification of Shortlisted Candidates for N-Power Scheme in Cross River” and signed by the group chairman Comrade Iso Bassey, the Secretary, Barrister Joseph Odok and the Women Leader, Miram Obi, they demand the immediate sack of the state coordinator, Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo.
According to the petition which was made available to newsmen in Calabar, the group frowned at the lack of awareness on the venue and process of the verification exercise even as they questioned the right of the state government to create a new website for the exercise.
“We want to draw the attention of the Vice President and the National Coordinator of the N-Power scheme to the illegality and massive fraud going on in the verification exercise of the shortlisted candidates in Cross River State.
“We are aware that the federal government concluded the screening exercise of candidates before shortlisting the successful names. The instruction from the Vice President was very clear and simple; that every state should verify to ascertain that the shortlisted candidates are resident in the various states they applied for after which they deploy.
“But to our greatest bewilderment, the state government and state coordinator Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo have connived to create new website, www.crs-n-power.gov to conduct new screening for people. Some people who’s name were published by the federal government were no longer invited for verification”, the petition reads in part.
The group further maintained that “While we acknowledge the fact that the social welfare scheme is meant for all Nigerians not just APC members, we want the federal government to sack the Cross River state coordinator and appoint a new person either from APC, PDP or a technocrat that believes in the progressive ideologies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to manage the exercise”.
While alleging that Ambassador Toyo only want to mess up the good initiative to create bad impression about President Buhari to favor her party, the PDP, the group noted that “It is very unfortunate that the federal government entrusted such sensitive responsibility to a PDP chieftain who has consistently gone on social media and different online media platforms to abuse President Buhari for initiating this scheme and other programs.
“This is somebody who has stated it very clearly that she doesn’t have faith in the leadership of the APC led federal government. She is using the APC federal government project now to create bad impression about President Buhari because so many people have already been told that they don’t have their records after they have seen their names. New people who never participated in the initial screening by federal government have done documentation to be paid this month”.
The group also called on the leadership of party in the state to regularly interface with the federal government to avoid such ” embarrassing ” situation in subsequent programs.
“We will not remain slaves to PDP in Cross River state. APC cannot be in government with PDP in power because our ideologies are different therefore, the federal government should consult and interface regularly with the leadership of the party in the state to be properly guided to avoid further embarrassment”.
But the Coordinator of the program in the state, Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo told CrossRiverWatch that it was not true that she had plans to shortchange shortlisted candidates.
She said the new website was part of the mechanism to ensure proper verification and to encourage the candidates to be internet compliant.
“I have nothing to gain from what I am doing. There are already so many fingers pointing at me for different reasons but I must tell you that the website was built to ensure that we eliminate discrepancies in the verification process and nothing more. people have been coming to the venue of the verification and those who meet the conditions given from Abuja have been verified.”
She however refused to entertain further questions about whether the new website was one of the verification requirments given by ‘abuja’?