Nigerian governors speak on looted COVID-19 palliatives

October 26, 2020
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<!– Kayode Fayemi, with NGF DG Okauru and Governors Bagudu and Bello –>

Kayode Fayemi, with NGF DG Okauru and Governors Bagudu and Bello

By Emmanuel Oloniruha/Abuja

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has clarified that the looted COVID-19 palliative in warehouses in some states were not hoarded as reported, but kept for the vulnerable.

The NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, made the clarification in a statement issued on Monday morning in Abuja.

”While some states are yet to begin distribution because they had not fully received items meant for distribution, palliatives found in warehouses in Lagos and some states were kept for the vulnerable,” he said.

The NGF noted that the 36 state governors had since the EndSARS demonstrations started, held several meetings to address the underlying concerns.

“The NGF re-emphasises that palliatives found in warehouses that were broken into in Lagos and some other states were kept in storage for members of the society especially our vulnerable citizens,” the forum said

“For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous.

“As we know, CACOVID operations are mainly domiciled in Lagos, being the headquarters of most of the public-spirited organisations, corporate bodies and individuals that came together to form the Coalition Against COVID-19; CACOVID.

“Until mid-October, when the NGF had its last meeting, up to ten States had not participated in the flag-off ceremonies for the distribution of palliatives in their States.

“This was because the items meant for distribution in these states had not been completely received from CACOVID.

“Some other states that still had palliatives in their warehouses chose to keep a strategic reserve ahead of a projected second wave of COVID-19.

“Furthermore, as of a couple of weeks ago, some states were still receiving palliatives from the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“The NGF also assures all contributors to the palliatives that prior to the looting of these warehouses, states had kept full accounts of all the items received and distributed.”

Bello-Barkindo called on members of the public to check their facts.

He said while the governors recognised the need for improved governance, members of the public should be careful not to damage country by pushing the wrong narrative.

“The state governors are doing their very best under the circumstances to ameliorate the needs of the teeming population

“The NGF stands for justice, improved governance and a progressive Nigeria.

“The NGF regrets the loss of lives and property occasioned by the violent protests that erupted, and calls for calm.

“A lot of the information circulating the social media needs to be fact checked,” the NGF said.

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