The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said the looted palliatives across the country were kept as strategic reserve for projected second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Head, Media & Public Affairs of the forum, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, in a statement, denied the allegation of hoarding levelled against state governors.
“The erroneous impression in the public domain that these palliatives were hoarded is not just inaccurate, entirely erroneous and untrue, but also mischievous, to say the least,” Barkindo stated.
He explained that the donors, the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), made up of public-spirited organisations, corporate bodies and individuals, just delivered the palliatives to the headquarters in Lagos pending distribution to states. According to Barkindo, “Until mid-October, when the NGF had its last meeting, up to 10 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.”
He regretted the loss of lives and property occasioned by the violent protests that followed the #EndSARS agitation and called for calm. “For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous.
“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 wishes to state categorically that no state has been involved in or has hoarded any palliatives. “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. “NGF calls on members of the public to check their facts. While we all recognize the need for improved governance, we should be careful not to damage ourselves 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,” Barkindo assured. He noted that since the #EndSARS protest started, the governors had held several meetings to address the underlying concerns, and have aligned themselves with the call for justice leading to the setting up of judicial panels in all the states against police brutality.