The Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Monday denied allegations that governors hoarded palliatives meant for distribution to Nigerians in order to ameliorate their sufferings during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the forum, governors have held several meetings since the #EndSARS street protests started to address concerns of members of the public and that they identified calls for justice and an end to police brutality.
Towards this end, the forum noted that governors have since set up judicial panels of inquiry to look into such cases.
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘Governors and the CACOVID Palliatives,’ signed by the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF, Abudulrazaque Bello-Barkindo.
The statement read in part, “The NGF regrets the loss of lives and property occasioned by the violent protests that erupted, and calls for calm.
“The NGF reemphasises and corrects the impression that palliatives found in warehouses that were broken into in Lagos and some other states were kept in storage for members of the society, especially our vulnerable citizens.
“The erroneous impression in the public domain that these palliatives were hoarded is not just inaccurate, entirely erroneous and untrue but also mischievous, to say the least.”
Bello-Barkindo further said, “For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous.
“As we know, CACOVID operations are mainly domiciled in Lagos, being the headquarters of most of the public-spirited organisations, corporate bodies and individuals that came together to form the Coalition Against COVID-19 -CACOVID.
“Until mid-October, when the NGF had its last meeting, up to ten states had not participated in the flag-off ceremonies for the distribution of palliatives in their states. This was because the items meant for distribution in these states had not been completely received from CACOVID.
“Some other states that still had palliatives in their warehouses chose to keep a strategic reserve ahead of a projected second wave of COVID-19.
“As of a couple of weeks ago, some states were still receiving palliatives from the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.”
The NGF declared that no state has been involved in or has hoarded any palliatives.
It also assured all contributors to the palliatives that prior to the looting of these warehouses, states had kept full accounts of all the items received and distributed.
By John Alechenu,