The Ebonyi government on Saturday officially launched the distribution of palliatives to the ‘poorest’ of the poor and other vulnerable people in 10 out the 13 LGAs of the state.
Dr Kelechi Igwe, the state Deputy Governor, who performed the ceremony at Amuzu community primary school in Ezza South LGA, said that 200 indigent persons from each poling unit of the state were expected to benefit from the exercise.
Igwe said that the measure was to assist the beneficiaries in cushioning the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic which took everybody unawares.
“The government is fulfilling its promise of monitoring the palliatives distribution and observing that this centre was already distributing.
“This ‘token’ is not going to feed you for a whole century but we believe that when you take it from the government it will constantly remind you that it thinks about you.
“It will also remind you that the government is responsible and will continue being responsive to situations that may adversely affect you,” he said.
The deputy governor said that the government inaugurated stakeholders’ committees across the LGAs of the state to coordinate and supervise the exercise.
“I am directing that LGAs which started the distribution of the items to the various wards late should shift the exercise until Sunday commencing from 1.00 pm.
“We do not have electricity at the distribution centres, so we want to avoid situations where it will be done at night and hoodlums may capitalise on the opportunity to hijack the items.
“We believe that 1.00 p.m. is ideal on Sunday as most of our people must have returned from church services and no one will complain of being left out,” he said.
He charged the caretaker chairmen of various LGAs to ensure equitable distribution of the items as the government would hold them responsible for any reported case of malpractice.
Dr Kenneth Ugbala, Secretary to the State Government, said that while the deputy governor led the monitoring team to the central senatorial zone, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly led the team to the north while the Commissioner for LGA affairs led the team to the southern senatorial zone.
“We know it is not easy to handle the affairs of men but we are happy with the conduct of the people, the security agencies among other stakeholders.
“We have taken steps to mitigate every challenge that might arise from the palliatives distribution especially issues concerning hoodlums planning to cart the items from the beneficiaries,” he said.
He debunked the insinuation that some stakeholders planned to divert the items for campaigns during the forthcoming council polls, stating that stakeholders from all the areas would be held responsible for anomalies in the distribution exercise.
Mrs Euphemia Nwali, Caretaker Chairman of Ezza South LGA, said that the exercise was orderly and assured that it would be concluded on time in the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that items distributed include: 5kg bags of rice, sachets of indomie noodules, groundnut oil, among other edibles.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
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