Confussion as politics of palliatives distribution rocks states

… Amidst protest, Niger warns against diversion

…PDP, LP reject Uzodimma’s operation “show your PVC” for collection
…Assembly probes illegal diversion and sale of palliatives in Nassrawa
The ongoing distribution of the federal government released palliatives to curb the threatening effects of the removal of petrol subsidy has generated heated reactions from stakeholders in several states, following the alleged shabby handling of the exercise by state authorities.
Recall that the federal government had last month released about N5b naira to each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, including about three thousand (3,000) bags of rice to be distributed to citizens in an effort to reduce the pains and high cost of transportation and foods that have trailed the subsidy removal.
While the waiting game has commenced bin some states delay in embarking on the distribution, some states have however maintained a decent approach, ensuring that the palliatives are distributed in an orderly manner that makes it get to every designated citizen irrespective of political and religious affiliation, just as the exercise has turned sour in other states where government officials have either diverted the goods for their own gain or sitting administrations have politicized it, as it is now left in the hands of party officials at state, local government and ward levels
The development has therefore made the palliatives which the federal government made clear it is for every citizen to now become the exclusive right of political party in power in the affected states
This is even as some states tactically removed government officials from the distribution, so that it will get to the targeted vulnerable.
Some state have however left it in the hands of political party officials, especially in the states where election would be conductrd in a short time from now
For example, in Nassrawa state, the Department of State Services (DSS), said it intercepted a suspected criminal syndicate who were compulsorily n the act of diversion and sale of the palliatives meant for the vulnerable.
According to the security agency “Among the arrested suspects were officials of Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA) and their accomplices in the markets, notably Modern Market Lafia, where the items were being resold,” DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, said in a statement.
The DSS noted that there operation to arrest the syndicates followed a report the agency received from some state governments relating to diversion or sale of palliatives meant for their citizens.
“Consequently, the Service undertook investigations in that regard and has recovered some of the items as well as apprehended the suspects.”
The secret police said the suspects have been handed over for appropriate disciplinary measures.
“The Service, therefore, calls on members of the public who may have information relating to this emerging trend to report same to the relevant security agencies for necessary action,” the statement added.
The DSS revelation has however led to an action by the Nassrawa State House if Assembly, which swiftly constituted a panel the probe the distribution of the palliatives by government officials in the state
Similarly, in Imo state, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) have accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Hope Uzodimma of using the opportunity if the federal government palliatives to woo the state electorate, ahead of the November 11 governirshiip election in the state
The Governorship Campaign Council of the parties, in seperate statements, called on the people of the state to reject the alleged “Operation Show Your PVC” for Palliative, which they accused the governor and his aides if embarking on
The opposition parties described the exercise as a plot by Imo Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, and leaders of APC to hijack their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) forcefully.
Director of media and publicly for the Imo PDP (Sam-Jones) Governorship Campaign Council, Ikenna Onuoha in statement on Wednesday, urged Imo residents to remain alert, even as he alleged that Governor Uzodinma is struggling to have access to their PVCs to enable his government to rig the November 11 governorship election after it appears to him that the people have abandoned him.
PDP statement reads, “So far, Uzodinma is said to have released the remaining palliatives to Sole Administrators, Commissioners, Special Advisers, and other appointees of his government with stern directive to distribute same to only those with Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) who should be APC members.
“What this means is that Imo citizens who are members of other political parties like Labour Party, APGA, SDP, NNPP, PDP and others cannot partake.
“This development is not only worrisome, criminal, and wicked, which is at variance with the Federal Government’s sharing template, but an indication that Uzodinma’s administration is too petty and vindictive to have leveraged on the free-will gift to frustrate Imo people.
“It is no longer in doubt that the actions of Uzodinma and his party leaders justify previous reports on the media that the APC government in the state diverted over N2 billion from the intervention funds and allocated over 50 thousand bags of the contingent to relatives, friends and well-wishers at the detriment of Imo citizens.
“Currently, the image of Imo state government is at stake and badly mutilated in the eyes of the world that while other states in the country are freely and genuinely distributing the palliatives to indigenes of their states irrespective of party affiliations or PVCs, Uzodinma and his directionless administration are using the gift as a weapon to continue to impoverish Imo people.
“As an entity that believes in the rule of law, what Uzodinma and APC are presently doing in the state has confirmed the insinuation that the prevalent hunger, starvation, and anguish experienced by Imo people now and in the past are deliberately orchestrated by APC government in the state.
“While we advise Imo people to reject this Greek gift aimed at exposing their private identification Numbers to scavengers or to exchange their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) with two and half cups of rice from Uzodinma, Imo people are to remain alert that why Uzodinma is struggling to have access to their PVCs is to enable his government rig the November 11 Governorship election, after it appears to him that the people have abandoned him.”
Also, following outcry by citizens over the alleged poor handling of the palliatives in Niger state, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alh. Muazu Hamidu Jantabo has warned those charged with the distribution of palliatives against diversion to ensure peaceful, fair and equitable distribution devoid of rancour across the 25 local government areas of the state.
Stakeholders, farmers in Niger state had accused government officials of denying their members from receiving the state government-distributed fertilizers, adding that the same bags of fertilizer are been sold at black markets rate if N38, 000 to their members by government officials
The commissioner gave the warning during the flag-off of the distribution exercise held at the Lapai council secretariat in the Lapai area of the state.
He said measures have been adopted by the standing committee in charge of distribution in line with the directive of Governor Muhammad Umar Bago to ensure transparency and inclusiveness devoid of rancour and bitterness.
“I want to reiterate the enforcement of governor Mohammed Umar Bago’s directives to ensure transparency and equitable distribution of the items that comprised of rice, beans, garri as well as other food items,” he said.
The commissioner, however, explained that special consideration will be given to two wards out of 10 known for their cosmopolitan demographics and township location, which include Gabas-Kudu, and Arewa-Yamma, as agreed by the committee.
He also disclosed that the political appointees in the 10 wards of the council had agreed and contributed to cover the sum of N1,518,000 for logistics, adding that all security agencies in the area got their share of the palliatives.
Jantabo added, “There was a residual value of N798,000 left from the total items bought for distribution, just as the logistical costs for the distribution were estimated to cost N2,316,000, leaving a balance of N1,518,000 respectively.”
Speaking, the chairman of Lapai Local Government, Mohammed Musa Kirikpo, tasked ward councillors to be fair and equitable in the distribution of palliative in their areas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What do you think?

Written by News Desk

Your daily pulse on mind-blowing tech, business, and economy news. Stay informed, stay ahead!

Imo PDP vows to appeal tribunal ruling on Ugochinyere, Okeke

Apple iPhone 12

France Orders Halt on iPhone 12 Sales Over Radiation Concerns