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Governors insist looted food items were meant for distribution

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A boy carries a bag of food on his head during a mass looting of a warehouse that have COVID-19 food palliatives that were not given during lockdown to relieve people of hunger, in Jos, Nigeria, on October 24, 2020.  (Photo by Ifiok Ettang / AFP)

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

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NGF in a statement by its Head of Media and Public Affairs Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo noted that the clarification became imperative following a lot of information circulating in the social media that needed to be fact-checked.

NGF said the erroneous impression in the public domain that the palliatives were hoarded was “entirely erroneous and untrue but also mischievous, to say the least.”

“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 in the statement.

“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”

“Until mid-October, when the NGF had its last meeting, up to ten States had not participated in the flag-off ceremonies for the distribution of palliatives in their States”

“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”

The NGF stated categorically that no state has been involved in or has hoarded any palliatives.

The NGF also assured all contributors to the palliatives that prior to the looting of these ware houses, states had kept full accounts of all the items received and distributed.

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