By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
Deputy national president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Chief Chika Onuegbu, has declared that the ongoing looting of warehouses belonging to state governments across the country was not unexpected.
Onuegbu, who made the declaration while speaking in a live radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt, said such looting spree would occur in any society whose economy had passed through what Nigeria’s economy has passed through in recent times.
The labour leader stated that it was obvious that the federal government’s social investment programme was hijacked by politicians and never got to those that needed them.
He said: “It does appear that the selection process is somehow tinted towards politics in the sense that political gladiators of any particular state and the leading political gladiators tends to be the ones to select and dictate who the beneficiaries will eventually become.
“If that is the situation then it obviously very clear that the social investment programme didn’t really get to those that needed them. It didn’t really get to those who are apolitical. It really ended up with loyalists of political gladiators within those areas.
“The indices and basis to say this one qualifies for the social investment programme was not made known. At a time, people wanted to know who are these people who are receiving these benefits in their areas.
“That was also not made known due to some arguments around confidentiality and perhaps, the dignity of those persons.
“At the end of the day what we are saying is that there is general hunger, there is general frustration and then, there is general anger in the land. That is not unexpected because historically, whenever any economy goes through what Nigeria’s economy has gone through, you will see these kind of things.”