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Condemnations trail rowdy distribution of palliatives in Lagos

By Eniola Daniel
21 August 2023   |   2:55 am
Condemnations, yesterday, trailed the ‘beggarly’ style adopted by chairman of Somolu Local Council, Abdul Hamed Salawu, in distribution of subsidy palliatives in the council at the weekend.

Residents struggling for the palliatives on Saturday

• No lessons learnt yet, says HURIWA

Condemnations, yesterday, trailed the ‘beggarly’ style adopted by chairman of Somolu Local Council, Abdul Hamed Salawu, in distribution of subsidy palliatives in the council at the weekend.

 
In the video, which went viral, the council boss was seen dishing out the palliatives without decorum. A large crowd had gathered at the Agunbiade Primary School in Somolu Local Council Area Saturday morning, to receive subsidy palliatives, facilitated by the chairman of the council.
 
The crowd at the venue allegedly came from different parts of the state, including Oshodi, Mushin, Egbeda, and Mowe-Ibafo, to collect packaged rice, beans and garri.
 
The people were seen packed in the venue and trampling on each other, while the packed items were thrown at them without crowd control. While the distribution of the food items was commended, Nigerians raised concerns about the manner the palliative was shared.
 
One of those, who condemned the manner, Kingsley Ode, said the situation was not what could be showcased in the 21st century. Reacting to the trending video, another Lagosian, Temitope Ogunniyi, said: “In most developed countries, there are low-income earners and homeless people.
 
“But the government takes care of them via a lot of programmes, one of such is partnership with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to establish a food bank where people in this class can go, get food items, clothes, and others. But when I see a video like this, it’s painful how lazy our politicians are in their brains.
 
“Teach me and provide an enabling environment for me to fish. Stop giving me fish.”Opeyemi Matthew said: “This is what happens when people who know nothing about leadership lead. We need visionary leaders.”
 
Also, Kayode Ayemojuba said: “See how APC is sharing palliative for fuel subsidy removal in Lagos. See them throwing foodstuffs at the aged like hungry animals, not worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.”
 
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to Lagos State Governor, Gboyega Akosile, simply responded: “Good afternoon. We would be very orderly. I am busy.”
 
Reacting, National Coordinator, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it was a very big shame, and smacks of a total lack of organisational strategy and lack of respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizens by the Lagos State government.
 
“This show of shame is the very reason we at HURIWA objects strongly to the thoughtless, irrational and insensitive decisions by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to withdraw subsidy from petrol without adequate arrangements on how to ameliorate the untold sufferings that would inevitably be unleashed on the over 130 million multi-dimensionally poor Nigerian households. 
  
“The decision of President Tinubu to distribute bags of rice and N5 billion to each state of the Federation through their governors is illogical, irresponsible, and despicable.
  
“These same governors, who had failed to utilise funds allotted to them from the federation account monthly to provide social services and set up functional infrastructures to power the private sector to become productive in their states, are the same persons that President Tinubu gave money to share to poor Nigerians.
 
“First, how did the President conclude that N5 billion is all that the poor citizens would need to reduce the hardship inflicted by his thoughtless withdrawal of fuel subsidy?
 
“How did the President assume that there are an equal number of poor households in each state of the Federation that made his government distribute equal amounts of money as palliatives? The entire issue of palliatives is a massive scam. It is unfortunate, regrettable, and outrageous.”