Governors and COVID19 Palliatives
By Bilyaminu Gambo Kong-kol
AREWA AGENDA – The level of effect of Coronavirus pandemic on Nigeria and Nigerians economically cannot be measured. Hence the Federal Government, national and international foundations, and well to do individuals in the society had deemed it imperative to provide citizens with palliatives in order to cushion the effects of the virus which led to series of lockdowns in almost all the parts of the country.
Despite receiving these palliatives, most of the Nigerian governors have decided not to distribute them to their people who were nearly killed by hunger in recent times. However, three of the Nigerian governors from the Northeast: Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, Borno, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, Bauchi and Muhammad Inuwa Yahya, Gombe, who have their people at heart, were able to live above board. Reports have it that they have distributed the palliatives long before now. These governors must be commended and celebrated.
Surprisingly, on the other hand, the Kano’s Commissioner of Police, Habu Sani had revealed that between July 23 and September 8, the police in the state were able to recover diverted Benue state palliatives. The commissioner said and I quote: “1,958 out of the 3,850 cartons of Dangote branded indomie noodles meant for Benue State palliative tagged CACOVID-19 valued N4,111,800 recovered out of 3,850 cartons diverted and sold out”. Other recovered palliatives also include 150 expired Coca Cola drinks worth N150,000.
Reports from Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Osun, Kwara, Plateau, Lagos, Adamawa, Cross River, Taraba, Kaduna among others have indicated that the EndSARS protesters who metamorphosed to hoodlums have broken and/or burnt down warehouses. Palliatives worth billions of naira were vandalized. The ugly side of the story is that the looters have not only attacked warehouses. In my state, Adamawa for instance, the hoodlums have ransacked some government-owned schools, agencies and private companies.
I condemn not only the hoodlums’ ungodly acts but the wickedness of the governors who intentionally refused to distribute the palliatives long before now in order to avert such occurrences. I am still wondering how on earth will a governor keep these palliatives in stores leaving his people in extreme poverty. Where are their conscience, magnanimity, empathy and sympathy? These governors have no justification in whatever form to keep Coronavirus palliatives in their stores. The saddest side of the story is that some of the looted consumable items have since expired.
From these recent happenings, we have made to understand that most of our governors whom we voted joyfully and willingly to helm the affairs of our states with the hope that they will put our well being as their topmost priority have turned out to be our enemies. If not your chronic enemy, who will divert COVID19 palliatives to markets or keep them in warehouses until they expire? What a disgrace!
I call on these governors to stop beating around the bush and accept the fact that they have failed us. It is high time for them to rethink and change the way they are governing their state. 2023 is fast approaching, you either change or we change you.
Bilyaminu Gambo Kong-kol writes from Mass Communication Department, Bayero University, Kano
Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives.