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Amara Nwankpa....The Event's Anchor

There have been a ferocious argument all over Twitter since yesternite over stipends distributed to participants of a recent "Youth Lunch with the President....Goodluck Jonathan. Organisers of the Event Chude Jideonwo of the “Future Project” and Amara Nwankpa, have exhausted themselves in an effort to justify the distribution of cash at the end of event which was termed a refund of transport and hotel expenses for participants but they have been veraciously attacked by Pundits who claim that the money was meant to Bribe the 400 Participants. 

This is How saharareporters are reporting it.....

An event conceived as part of Jonathan's inauguration week has become a controversial bribe fest in Lagos, with about 400 participants receiving between N50, 000 and N150,000 each.
The event took place yesterday afternoon when Mr. Jonathan had a lunch date with "Nigerian youths" at the Eko Hotel in Lagos as part of his inauguration which takes place next Sunday.  Organized by some young people who were involved in the "What About Us" election campaign, the event on the surface sounded legitimate.
A young person invited to the event from Abuja told SaharaReporters that the event was packaged as though Mr. Jonathan wanted to open dialogue with Nigerian youth but what came out was a sham.
He said, "Last week, I got a call about today's event and it was played up as a conversation with Mr. President, but what happened today was a charade organized by people passing themselves up as youth representatives, who in the reality were closet consultants to the President and his people."
It was a different scenario when he got there.  "It wasn't a conversation, the speakers had been pre-selected," he lamented.  “This is the latest Nigeria youth scam on the block."
But for some deliberate infusion of a few critical comments, the rest involved politically correct speeches and youth kissing up to GEJ, the participant said.

Another commentator told SaharaReporters that they were disappointed by the speech made by Nollywood actress Rita Dominic, who couldn't stop thanking Jonathan profusely for giving $200 million to Nollywood stars.
Another low for the event, according to another participant, was video footage of a British band called "Goodluck Jonathan" which had been shown to participants apparently to prove that Jonathan was a global icon who had inspired a foreign music band.
The event which had originally been put up as “frugal” event of N70 million ended up costing over N150m as some youth participants spent three days at the super expensive Eko Hotel prior to it. Also, some participants were flown from the UK and US.
The event’s arrowheads include Chude Jideonwo of the “Future Project” and Amara Nwankpa, the youth who led a "LightUp Nigeria" campaign. Some participants said they felt scammed by the “What About US” campaign when Jonathan failed to honor a youth debate.  They felt disappointed that the leaders of the campaign turned around and involved themselves with the monumental wastage of scarce national resources at a time the value of the national currency is going down, fuel scarcity has returned and the electricity situation is getting worse.
At the end of yesterday's event, which started at 12:30 and ended at 3pm, an announcement was made that participants would get reimbursement of their transport fare.  That it turned to be a bribe fest as participants from Lagos were offered N50, 000 each while those from out of Lagos state were given N150, 000.
“Some 400 youths were essentially bribed by Mr. President,” said a participant who claimed to have rejected the gratification.  As expected the gratification of participants has ignited a fierce debate on Twitter and other social media channels.


t said...

I didn't go to this week's Youth Lunch with the President of Nigeria. I got a couple of invitations by email and text, to which I answered, "how many diners will be at the lunch?"Since I had no assurance that it would be a somewhat exclusive lunch - you know, eba and egusi soup with orange juice around the table with Mr. President - and not a rowdy carnival with us jamming to D'Banj music, I decided to respect myself and save my money. Read more at I'm Too Old For Youth Lunch

Anonymous said...

oh my. Now they have a taste of what those politicians in Abuja and all over the country are enjoying. Transport of 50,000 within Lagos State? Transport of N150, 000 for those outside Lagos? Na wa o. I no fit shout. Why couldn't they have organized it in separate locations?or better still, the amount spent on the lunch alone and the lunch on its own is enough but giving transport fare again?that sounds somehow sha. If these ones deserve 50 and 150k each then i think the normal man on the street does too...all these partial for nothings.it should have been an open forum not a speech by speech thingy. i also thot so...this is not a youth lunch or forum..its just a campaign farce so tht in future when they ask how he is connecting with the youth he will say 'oh, we had lunch on may 24th' meanwhile nothing is being done. God bless Nigeria o!

Anonymous said...

and i also heard tht it was a war zone b4 entering the venue and that after some people got in the program had already started. so much for presidential lunch

The Corner Shop said...

Haven't they ever heard of transport allowance before? They should siddon!



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