COVID-19 Palliatives: HURIWA faults Humanitarian Affairs Minister on claims of accountability, transparency

Posted by News Express | 7 November 2020 | 622 times

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•Humanitarian Affairs Minister Sadia Umar Faruq

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has asked the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Ms Sadia Umar Faruq, to stop her “wild goose chase of attempting to tie a wool around the eyes of gullible Nigerians” by trying to use the massive looting of COVID-19 lockdown palliatives by hungry and desperate Nigerians to justify her unsubstantiated claims that her Ministry can’t be called out for investigations over alleged corrupt practices.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Ms Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA accused the Minister of being “clever-by-half” by trying to assert that contrary to the well known position that the foodstuffs stored in the warehouses that were looted in the wake of the disrupted #EndSARS protests in the country were donated by the private sector and therefore has nothing to do with what measures the Nigerian government deployed public funds to procure foodstuffs and relief materials for poor Nigerian homes.

The rights group noted that the Minister has attempted to claim credits for those foodstuffs that were looted and to assert that she has forgiven her ‘traducers’ who had demanded accountability and transparency from her Ministry.

HURIWA wondered why the Nigerian media that ought to set agenda and be at the forefront of vigilant Nigerians that should be taking government officials to render accounts of how they spent the public funds in their custody during the lockdown has allowed politicians to try to sell a dummy and totally unprovable claims.

The rights group maintained that the foodstuffs looted by hungry and desperate Nigerians in much of the state's around the country were wholly donated by a private sector coalition against the Coronavirus, CA-COVID, which  had collected tens of millions of dollars' worth of aid for victims of the pandemic and given to the government.

But many state authorities have halted distribution of the aid since the easing of lockdowns. Some Nigerians accuse authorities of hoarding items while millions of people experience hunger.

HURIWA carpeted the Minister for attempting to tie a wool around the eyes of gullible people in the country by justifying the way she has discharged her responsibility in what is a clear propaganda that lacks practical believability since the foodstuffs in those warehouses looted were donated by corporate organisations and therefore are distinct from the components that were distributed by Federal Government with public funds.

HURIWA reminded the Minister and “her intellectually lazy media spin doctors” that even the governors who hoarded these foodstuffs donated by these companies for onward distribution to the hungry masses of Nigeria have openly admitted that what were looted were never donated by the Federal Government but by the organised private sector.

HURIWA wondered why the Minister is claiming that those looted foodstuffs were donated by government or that the fact that there were foodstuffs hoarded and then looted by hungry Nigerians showed that those who accused her of corruption were mischievous and that she has forgiven them.

HURIWA blasted the Minister for trying to use subterfuge and to try to confuse the facts in issue about the manner her Ministry spent public fund in the implementation of the School Feeding Programme and the SOCIAL Investment Programme.

It reminded the Minister that the Federal Government says it spent about N523.3 million on school feeding programme during the Coronavirus induced lockdown.

HURIWA therefore called on the Humanitarian Affairs Minister to make herself available for public debate so Nigerians are told how the School Feeding Programme she said she did during lockdown has suddenly found justification in the looted foods from the warehouses of COVID-19 palliatives donated by the Organized Private Sector which state Governors, out of greed and avarice, hoarded and left their populations to suffer unrelenting hunger and malnutrition.


Source: News Express

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