The Middle Belt Development Council has said the free food, free transport and medical services being given to residents of the state by the state government is an attempt to buy votes ahead of the Nigerian 2023 elections.
The Kaduna state government alternatively have claimed that these provisions were part of measures to cushion the effect of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) naira redesign and swap, but critical Middle Belt stakeholders in the Middle Belt have warned the peoples of the region to be wary about such gestures.
In order to lessen the impact of the current financial crisis on the people of the state, the state government announced measures including the provision of free transportation services, free medical care for common ailments like malaria and typhoid, as well as basics like food.
The group recently cautioned Middle Belt residents to exercise caution while accepting such presents, noting that the Kaduna state administration had not previously demonstrated this degree of commitment despite the severe security conditions that had plagued the area for the previous seven years and the sacking of 62,000 teachers in the state, and that such gestures seemed “suspicious” especially since they are happening so close to the election period.
They called on residents to desist from selling their votes as this was a crucial period in Nigeria’s history.