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Looted COVID-19 palliatives not hoarded, meant for the vulnerable citizens – NGF

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has insisted that palliatives found in looted warehouses in Lagos and some other states were for distribution to vulnerable citizens.

A statement by its Head of Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo revealed that the news circulating is “entirely erroneous and untrue but also mischievous, to say the least.”

NGF said the clarification became imperative following a lot of information circulating on social media that needed to be fact-checked, and also re-emphasised 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 vulnerable citizens.

A resident carrying a bag of food on her head during a mass looting of a warehouse, in Jos, Nigeria./ Ifiok Ettang / AFP

“For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous,” Bello-Barkindo said.

“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,” Bello-Barkindo added.

NGF said at least ten States had not participated in the flag-off ceremonies for the distribution of palliatives in their States up until mid-October, when the NGF had its last meeting.

“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.

“Furthermore, 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,” he said.

Bello-Barkindo 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.

NGF expressed sympathy over the loss of lives and property occasioned by the #EndSARS protests.

Bello-Barkindo further called on members of the public to check their facts, and be careful not to damage country by pushing the wrong narrative. He said the governors recognised the need for improved governance.

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