The chairperson of Akure South local government, Mageret Atere is currently in the eye of the storm.

Her ordeal appears not to have in any way connected to the monthly allocation into the council purse but a cunningly extortion of money from the struggling traders who have paid their dues.

It was revealed that the local government chairperson collected 1000 naira each from the market women as form fee for the 50,000 naira empowerment programme which would be organized by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

Some of the victims, who are majorly petty traders, disclosed that the 1000-naira fee was collected from about 100 women across the 11 wards.

One of the women from ward 10 lamented that all effort to get information from the council office about the empowerment yielded no result.

“Since they asked us to pay 1000 naira for the empowerment form four months ago, we have not got any feedback.

“Whenever we go to ask, they keep assuring us they are coming,” she said.

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Another trader, who chose to remain anonymous like many others in her shoes, especially being a member of the APC also complained of the illegal collection of the fee.

“What they are making us go through is hard, it even makes one regret voting or being a member of the APC.

“We thought they meant well for us when they told us to pay N1,000 to obtain a form, and promise to empower us with N50,000. We have not seen the N50,000 empowerment, and nothing has been said concerning the forms they gave us and the money they collected.

“Whenever we ask them about the money, they keep promising us, saying they will give us. Since I don’t have much time at my disposal, I decided to stay in my shop, after all my efforts didn’t yield any results.

“Is this how the party wants to win elections again?” She asked.

The press officer at the Akure south local government, Ilesanmi Adesokan however claimed he is not aware of any empowerment form fee.

Effort to reach the council boss on phone for clarification was fruitless.

An official of the state government who spoke on the condition of anonymity claimed that any financial empowerment in the state usually come through the state micro-credit agency and beneficiaries are selected based on merit.

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