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HURIWA kicks as FG resumes school feeding programme tomorrow


Govt planning to feed ghost pupils,

As the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development yesterday announced that the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme to “impact 3,131,971 households” would resume tomorrow, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has accused government of “planning to feed ghost pupils even as schools have been on an emergency vacation due to COVID-19 lockdown for nearly two months.”

A statement issued in Abuja by the Deputy Director Information in the ministry, Rhoda Ishaku Iliya, added that the project would continue in Lagos and Ogun before proceeding to other states.

Despite the closure of schools nationwide on account of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the statement stated that President Muhammadu Buhari directed the ministry to liaise with state governments to develop strategies on the continuation of the programme.”

But in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA called on the leadership of the National Assembly “to halt the sinister attempts to misapply public funds under the guise of feeding children when it is a universal truism that the pupils are not in schools, and millions of these school children may have been relocated from their original residences as a result of the circumstances and inevitable movements thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic.”

It queried: “From where do they want to get the pupils to feed whilst the lockdown is in place? Are they going to bring up displaced almajirai as the bonafide pupils or will they, as usual, manufacture ghosts as pupils?

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