COVID-19 palliatives received from a coalition of private-sector owners, headed by Alhaji Aliko Dangote has been allegedly shared to members of the Peoples Democratic Party as Christmas gift.
Nigeria ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State on Friday, December 25 in a statement issued by its state Publicity Secretary, Nkereuwem Enyongekere alleged that food items donated in July to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic have been shared as Christmas gifts to members of the opposition in the state.
Newsmen understands that APC accused Governor Udom Emmanuel of sharing the palliatives to members of his party. According to the statement, ”Another end-of-year folly from the administration is its decision to share, as Christmas gifts, the truckloads of COVID-19 food items sent to the state since July by the nation’s private-sector coalition led by Dangote Group and other donors.
”The sight of these food items being shared in the country home of the governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyen, to PDP members as Christmas gifts is galling. How selfish, mean and wicked could these people be to have hoarded these items since July, deny Akwa Ibom people of its use during the lockdown, and now turn around to share it to their party members only.
” We also recall that the federal government had sent a truckload of rice to the state earlier in the year. The governor had claimed in a radio interview then that the rice didn’t appear good for consumption, and that he was going to send it for laboratory tests. Is the test result out? We are sure that the rice has been surreptitiously distributed to PDP members in the state.”
However, in his reaction to the allegation, the commissioner for information and strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong debunked the claim, noting that sharing of the palliatives has nothing to do with the yearly Christmas gifts.
Ememobong in a statement issued to newsmen today said: ”The State Government had earlier in November this year intimated on the arrival of palliative materials from CACOVID (Coalition Against COVID) which is a private sector-driven corporate social responsibility contributes to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. It was also announced that when the full consignment from the donor’s berths in our state, distribution will commence.
”The structure for the distribution of these palliatives at the LGA level is very inclusive, having representation from people living with disabilities, women, youths, religious organizations, professional bodies and opposition parties under the platform of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee.
”This committee supervises the distribution of these palliatives to the people passing through the intermediary ward distribution structure. The distribution, which is largely decentralized to conform to COVID-19 protocols, has started and is ongoing.
”The focus of this batch of palliative distribution apart from the LGAs are media, orphanage homes, medical workers, security personnel, traders, Labour, entertainers and students.
”This distribution of palliative is clearly different from the usual end of year goodwill gift of rice to different categories of people.”