Looting: State Govts are custodians of COVID-19 palliatives not ministers, says FG official


▪︎Minister confirms Buhari’s directive to FEC members to assist State Govs achieve peace in their states

Amid anxieties and fears ignited by COVID-19 palliatives-seeking hoodlums who have been attacking private property of prominent politicians across the country in the last two days, an official of the Federal Government has clarified that the palliatives were distributed through the State Governments and not public office holders or politicians.
He said that political appointees, especially ministers, were neither recipients nor custodians of the COVID-19 palliatives.
According to him, “This clarification has become necessary in order to rein in those planning to storm, attack, loot and burn the houses of top politicians whom they have marked as opposition elements in government.
“Those who are planning to use hoodlums to unleash terror on the homes and private property of public office holders on the pretence and pretext that they are looking for COVID-19 palliatives should fear God and dismantle their sinister plans.”
The official said that many ministers, for instance, had been deploying their personal resources in providing food stuff at different times even before the COVID-19 pandemic to assist their people.
According to him, “some of them have been assisting their people with  infrastructure facilities, food stuff, other palliatives on periodic basis even before they were appointed into Federal Government offices.”
Recall that on the last 48 hours, a series of co-ordinated attacks by hoodlums had taken place in Edo, Delta, Cross River, Enugu, Anambra, Oyo, Lagos, Osun, Kwara and Ondo, among other states.
This development came on the heels of an instruction by President Muhammadu Buhari to ministers to go to their various states to assist their state governments in engaging stakeholders with a view to bringing about peace and harmony in the country.
Minister for Water Resources, Mr Sulaiman Adamu, confirmed the presidential directive in Dutse, the capital of Jigawa State, during his meeting with the Governor, Muhammad Badaru, on Friday.

NAN had reported Adamu to have told the governor that he would be meeting political, community, religious and traditional leaders across the state to work out peace and harmony in the state and in the country.

He had listed  other stakeholders that he would meet with to include youth associations, community-based organisations and civil society organisations.

The minister, according to NAN, pointed out that the meeting followed a directive from President Muhammad Bahuri to members of the Federal Executive Council.

“I’m on instruction of Mr President, President Muhammadu Buhari to come to Jigawa my own state.

“And this is the directive he has given to all ministers and other members of the executive council to go to our respective states and engage political, community, religious and traditional leaders on current event happening in the country.

“The President also asked me to commiserate with the state and Nigerians, even though there was no turbulence here, but lives and property were lost, and this has emotional and traumatic impact on all citizens of Nigeria,” the minister said.

According to him, the President was also thankful to the people of the state, particularly youths, over the way they conducted themselves during the protest.

“The President, right from the beginning of the protest endorsed the demand of the protesters to disband the SARS, which he did immediately and promised to reform the police.

“Subsequently and unfortunately hoodlums hijacked what was meant to be peaceful and in so doing, began to infringe on the rights of other peace loving Nigerians.

“But in spite of that, the government exercised a lot of restrain on the issue which unfortunately led to lost of live and property that is of great concern to any responsible government, especially our own,” Adamu said.

He added that Buhari also commended religious and traditional leaders in the state for all their prayers and well wishes.

“Nigeria has a lot of challenges and as people that believe in God we all have faith, whether Muslims or Christians, we all believe that in the end, God decides and solves our problems,” Adamu said.

The minister urged youths in the state to continue to support the Federal Government’s ongoing economic development programmes.

“I urge the youths in Jigawa to take advantage of of opportunities provided by the FG to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Youth leaders should mobilize them to partake in all the FG’s intervention programmes meant to better the lives of Nigerians youths,” he said.

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