OrderPaperToday – The fear of governors has kept members of the House of Representatives silent on commenting on the rampant cases of looting of covid-19 palliatives that were hoarded in different warehouses across the country by state governments.
OrderPaper Nigeria gathered reliably that the fear of losing favour with their state governors is responsible for the refusal of legislators to speak on a matter that has dominated public discourse in recent times.
Nigerians and the international community have been reacting to the discovery of hoarded palliatives mostly donated by the private sector and the federal government for distribution to millions of impacted citizens in the 774 local government areas across the country.
However, it out that state governors, whom were saddled with the responsibility of distributing the covid-19 palliatives, didn’t do so until the mass uprising that trailed the nationwide #EndSARS protest which led to the discovery and spontaneous looting of the mostly food items stored in the different warehouses.
State governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) had come out to deny that the items were being hoarded although the explanation offered did not appear to go down well with many angry and hungry citizens.
The private sector-led Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) had also issued a statement explaining that the delay in the distribution of the palliatives was because of the logistics involved in the purchase and delivery of the items.
OrderPaper Nigeria approached some members of the house for their reactions on the issue but most of them refused to comment publicly for fear of being targeted by their governors or political adversaries.
According one of the lawmakers who declined to be quoted for this story, “I don’t want to have any problem with anybody right now on this palliative saga. But I don’t think it is right that palliatives were kept in different warehouses across the country by these governors and they refused to share it to Nigerians.
“The Covid-19 lockdown was really a trying time for us in this country. Nigerians deserve better and as leaders we must take responsibility for the spillover of the #EndSARS protest which later metamorphosed into looting.”
Another member who also did not want his name mentioned said: “When these palliatives were to be shared we protested the methodology in the sharing process. We felt that as representatives of the people it would be better to pass the items through us but that never happened rather we were called all sorts of unprintable names.
“Today, the youths are very angry because of what is going on and that is why they are going about looting and causing havoc across the country. The governors are to be held responsible for hoarding the palliatives that were meant to be shared to the poor masses.”
Recall that the National Assembly had spoken out on the need to be carried along in the sharing process of the palliatives by the federal government the suggestion created some disagreement with officials of the executive who felt legislators wanted to hijack the palliatives for their own selfish benefits.
Notwithstanding, the House of Representatives did set up an ad-hoc committee on covid-19 which mandated included providing oversight on the federal government’s handling of the pandemic.
OrderPaper Nigeria made several efforts to reach the chairman of the committee, Mr. Haruna Mshelia (APC, Borno) but to no avail.