Nigeria’s Senate Denies Receiving COVID-19 Palliatives
The Senate in Nigeria on Monday responded to allegations that they, like state governors, received and hoarded COVID-19 palliative materials that were meant to be distributed to vulnerable citizens.
The director of media and publicity of the Muhammadu Buhari 2019 presidential campaign committee, Kailani Muhammad, had at the weekend, said if the #EndSARS protests had not taken place, Nigerians wouldn’t have known that foodstuffs meant for distribution to the populace were safely in warehouses for reasons unknown to Nigerians.
He blamed unnamed governors and federal lawmakers for their alleged role in hoarding palliatives meant for distribution to Nigerians in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said “The average Nigerian hardly eats two meals a day, but our politicians from the National Assembly and the governors cruise flamboyantly in Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) around town. I am optimistic that this #EndSARS movement will jilt them out of stupor. The protesters have touched the conscience of a mass section of the various stratum of our nation across board. What our so-called leaders need to do now is to sit back and think deeply about where they went wrong.
“It was during the protests that Nigerians got to know that President Buhari had long ago, approved a whooping N75 billion for Youth Investment Fund (YIF) that is meant to empower the youth stratum with a loan facility ranging from N250, 000 to N50million. That was a heartwarming revelation. Moreover, over N53 billion was approved for state governors, apart from the palliatives from the Humanitarian Ministry”.
But the Senate responded on Monday, saying Muhammad was only peddling lies and deliberate misinformation.
Senate’s spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, said the lawmakers never received any COVID-19 palliative from either the president or the federal government for distribution to their constituents.
The senate’s statement read in part:
“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 foodstuff or any material for that matter, talk less of hoarding them.
“Rather, at the senate, we donated half of the 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 Muhammad or anyone to castigate us in the public and saying what is not true.”