Relief package of trouble?
All over the country, the cry of the poor people is for government to extend palliatives or relief measures to them so that they can comply with the “Stay at home and stay safe” directives of government at federal and state levels.
At the federal level, the people’s complaint is also that whereas money had been distributed by the government in the North, similar gestures have not been extended to the South.
At another level in many of the states in the South where state governments have made efforts to extend palliatives, the people have ridiculed the meagre nature of the provisions provided by government.
In Ogun State, for instance, the relief package provided by the government for the indigent has generated controversies in some areas as we saw in a footage showing how people fought tooth to nail to grab the package brought to their area.
The sight is worrisome as it defeats social distancing. It is similar to or even worse than the one experienced with the federal government doling out cash to hundreds of people huddled together in the North.
We need, therefore, to ask the appropriate quarters what is really happening.
From the telephone conversation I had with Mr. Remmy Hassan, Special Adviser (Communications) to the Ogun State Governor, he explained that three senatorial districts have been given palliative materials but only one, Ogun Central, has distributed.
He added that effective distribution would commence Monday evening with the target of 500, 000 households with five to six people in the first round.
Should the committee in charge be unable to cover the 500, 000 households, it will continue distribution next week.
According to Hassan, the distribution would be done simultaneously in all the senatorial districts by household to avoid sabotage.
He added that Obafemi Owode was the only local government that had distributed relief materials before now.
Hassan did not hide his displeasure with those he called private individuals distributing (one person per street) palliatives but erroneously ascribing it to the Ogun state government, with people now thinking that the meagre palliatives really came from the Ogun state government.
He describeded this as scandalous, saying “no one sent anyone to give relief packages to one person per street”
He was suggestive that this might have been done by some politically-exposed persons to rubbish the government.
He added that the bags containing Ogun state’s relief packages were white in colour only few were in black and that people should not confuse it with any other package.
The Centre for Change sincerely appreciate the health workers and everyone involved in the patriotic duty of fighting Coronavirus.
Finally the populace should please cooperate with government by obeying all lawful directives aimed at not only keeping Coronavirus at bay but also rolling it back.
#COVID19NIGERIA #TakeResponsibility #StayAtHome #staysafe
#SocialDistanacing is key to avoid further community spread.