OrderPaperToday – The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and publicity, Ajibola Basiru, has denied claims that members of the National Assembly received and hoarded palliatives meant for distribution in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated emphatically that legislators did not receive nor hoarded palliatives from the President or the Federal Government but rather they donated part of their salaries to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
Basiru was reacting to a report that quoted the Director, Media and Publicity of the Muhammadu Buhari 2019 Presidential Campaign Committee, Engr. Kailani Muhammad to have suggested that legislators received and hoarded palliatives.
Kailani reportedly lamented that foodstuffs meant for distribution were kept by politicians unknown to millions across the country.
Speaking on behalf of the National Assembly, the Osun Senator described the allegation as “wicked lies or deliberate misinformation”.
In a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Remi Ibitola on Monday, the Senator said: “While not speaking for the governors, I make bold to say that no federal lawmaker and indeed, no senator received any kobo from Mr. President or any food stuff or any material for that matter, talk less of hoarding them.
“Rather at the senate, we donated half of members’ salaries for the purpose of cushioning the effect of COVID-19.
“We legislators equally played our part by purchasing and distributing palliatives to people at our different constituencies. So it is quite unfortunate for Kilani Mohammed or anyone to castigate us in the public and saying what is not true”, he said.
The Senate spokesman also cautioned against “deliberate falsehood to paint federal lawmakers in bad light for whatever motive.”
Recall that in the heat of the hijacked #EndSARS protests in October, hoodlums invaded private and public properties carting away food stuff, household items among other items.
The residence of Senator Gershom Bassey in Cross River State was attacked and house hold items including chairs, televisions, chairs and toilet seats, car batteries were stolen.
Similarly, Senator Teslim Folarin’s house in Oyo state was broken into and motorcycles, generators, sewing machines etc. meant for constituents were taken away.