By Jimoh Sulyman
There was a mild drama at the Kwara State Stadium Complex, Ilorin yesterday, as people scampered to benefit from ‘Owo Ishowo’, a Kwara State Social Investment Programme Money.
The largesse which attracted beneficiaries from all the wards in the state, was organized by the Kwara State Government to empower the petty traders to cushion the effect of the present hardship in the state.
However, the programme was not as successful as expected, as many of these that were to be beneficiaries left in annoyance after several hours of delay.
One of the things noticed by our reporter was the presence of soldiers to check and control the influx of people which created fears into the minds of the invitees.
The so-called empowerment was said to be N10,000 for 30,000 beneficiaries; but National Pilot’s investigation shows that only 15,000 people received text message, the only pass to getting the money.
At the narrow gate of the Stadium Complex, it was a tug of war, as people were struggling to enter and those that entered were not safe as some struggled in vain to get identification customized T-Shirt and hijabs.
In the process, a woman whose name was not known fainted and had to be given immediate first aid treatment; even this reporter assisted in pouring water on her head, while many were seriously beaten by the Man-O-War operatives. Some sustained injuries during the process.
On getting to Taiwo road around stadium complex, one will notice the long queues made by hundreds of people trying to gain entrance into the stadium with most of them arriving as early as 7am.
The Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq arrived at the venue at 11:13am along with his aides and associates including Ambassador Yahya Seriki.
A woman while lamenting the rigour she was going through, said “they called us, if they didn’t call us, we wouldn’t have come, I don’t know why we have to go through this much trouble because of the stipend they want to offer us”.
Some even left in anger due to the spate of brutality from the security operatives and hardship they were subjected to.
In order to get the money, each beneficiaries, BVN would be verified and the messages sent to their phone.
After hours of waiting in the blazing hot sun shining upon the main bowl, many people resigned to reality of not getting the money at the event as earlier promised.
The state government backtracked on the initial promise made at the starting of the programme, as it was said that the people should take their BVN to their respective zones.
But few names were called to receive their pay, as many described it as a show for the camera.