Controversy seems to be trailing the sharing of the federal government palliative in Kogi State as speculations have emerged that the items have been repackaged and rebranded to carry the logo of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Naija News understands that there was an unsigned statement from the state government allegedly directing the APC state chairman and the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs to coordinate the distribution of the palliative items on Thursday (today).
The palliative items were said to have been repackaged and branded with the APC logo and a picture of the party’s governorship candidate in the 11 November election, Ododo Ahmed Usman.
Also, the items have been reportedly locked up somewhere while citizens of the state suffer the hardship.
A civil society group, The Electorate Platform, accused the government of playing politics with the palliatives.
In a statement, the group’s spokesperson, Comrade Azees Ahmed, described the situation as completely insensitive, querying why the items meant for all Nigerians would be put in the care of a political party that will restrict the distribution to its members.
The group said, “Under this kind of parochial approach, how will the civil servants, students and other political party members and even those without political party be reached or taken care of?”
Another group, The Likeminds, in a separate statement, also said, “For how long will you continue to call white, black? We are far above mediocrity, do things accordingly, packaging palliatives from the Federal Government in small sack bags to campaign for an APC candidate while you are supposed to mitigate the effect of subsidy removal is an act of vicious cycle of democratic pretension and dysfunctional politics.
“Without fear of contradiction, the palliative distribution flag off in Kogi State to be coordinated by APC State party chairman and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs/invitee’s.. only APC party executive members/GYB political appointees, it’s unfair, we are yearning for a different style of politics and a break with the bad habits.”
Meanwhile, the Kogi State government, in a statement, denied the allegation, saying the items were meant for all citizens of Kogi and it would be shared fairly.
In the statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Femi Fanwo, noted that ”The Kogi State Government wishes to inform the general public that it will share palliatives with citizens to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal. The distribution shall take place on Thursday, 21st September 2023, at the ultra-modern Muhammadu Buhari Square by 10 a.m.
“It is instructive to note that the palliatives are for all Kogites, irrespective of political, ethnic or religious affiliations, in line with the intent of the Federal Government and the policy direction of the Kogi State Government under the administration of Alh. Yahaya Bello, who is the Governor of all.
“We urge leaders across the board to ensure that all Kogites are carried along in the distribution of the palliatives. This is sacrosanct.”