BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
…Demands sharing of COVID-19 donations to Nigerians
A former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to probe and prosecute Governors and government agencies over alleged hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives
meant for Nigerians.
He also called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently share all the money donated to the Federal Government as COVID-19 support to poor and vulnerable persons in the country.
Frank, who made these assertions in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said that both the Federal and State Governments should be blamed for deliberately keeping away what rightly belong to the people.
He said that videos on social media showing thousands of Nigerians besieging government warehouses and forcefully helping themselves with such food items underscore the level of hunger and deprivation in the land.
He warned Governors and Federal Government agencies who still have such food items locked up in their warehouses to immediately release them for distribution to the hungry masses or face the wrath of the people.
Frank said: “Why should Government continue to warehouse food items donated to it while the people are hungry? Did they forget the saying that a hungry man is an angry man?
“The action of government in keeping food items meant to cushion the effects of the ongoing pandemic among the poor and vulnerable, I dare say, speaks of their callousness, insensitivity, wickedness and man’s inhumanity to man.
“Government should not forget that most Nigerians lost their jobs and other sources of livelihood as a result of the pandemic.
“Must they be reminded that Nigerians are dying silently under the yoke of bad government policies, corruption and the greed of those that are today in position of authority?
“Where they by any chance keeping the food items for the 2023 campaigns as some state governors did in the past with relief materials meant for flood victims?
“We demand that all monies received by the Federal Government as support from international agencies, local businesses and philanthropists should immediately be distributed among vulnerable Nigerians who need to survive the current hardship in the country.
“Again, it must be noted that the sheer multitude of persons seen around government warehouses in the past few days show that the Buhari’s administration has driven over 100 million Nigerians into poverty rather than fulfilling its mantra of taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
“We also urge on the President to immediately and urgently setup a presidential panel of enquiry to probe the governors and the federal government agencies responsible for this heinous and careless act and anyone found culpable must face the full wrath of the law unlike previous lip service enquiry reports that were swept under the carpet.
“We call on the Federal and State Governments to retrace their egotistical steps and embrace policies that would give the youths jobs and put bread on their table.
“Anything short of urgent measures to pacify the youths and address the growing hunger in the land would amount to another disaster waiting to happen. God forbid,” he added.