Senate, Buhari group disagree over COVID-19 palliatives
The Director, Media, and Publicity of the Muhammadu Buhari 2019 Presidential Campaign Committee, Kailani Muhammad, had at the weekend, berated unnamed governors and federal lawmakers for their alleged role in hoarding palliatives meant for distribution to Nigerians in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said their action “revealed how selfish elected leaders have become”.
Muhammad, who lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his investment in the youth population, said had leaders across other layers of government done a fraction of what Buhari did, the fortune of the youths would have been better than it is today.
Addressing reporters in Abuja, Muhammad said that but for the twist in the #EndSARS protests, Nigerians wouldn’t have known that foodstuffs meant for distribution were safely in warehouses for reasons unknown to millions across the country.
His words: “The average Nigerian hardly eats two meals a day, but our politicians from the National Assembly and the governors cruise flamboyantly in Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) around town. I am optimistic that this #EndSARS movement will jilt them out of stupor. The protesters have touched the conscience of a mass section of the various stratum of our nation across board. What our so-called leaders need to do now is to sit back and think deeply about where they went wrong.
“It was during the protests that Nigerians got to know that President Buhari had long ago, approved a whooping N75 billion for Youth Investment Fund (YIF) that is meant to empower the youth stratum with a loan facility ranging from N250, 000 to N50million. That was a heartwarming revelation. Moreover, over N53 billion was approved for state governors, apart from the palliatives from the Humanitarian Ministry”.
In a counter-statement yesterday by its spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, the senate described the allegation as either wicked lies or deliberate misinformation on the part of Muhammad.
Basiru said that the lawmakers never received any COVID-19 palliative from either Mr. President or the Federal Government for onward distribution to their constituents.
The senate’s statement read in part:
“While not speaking for the governors, I make bold to say that no federal lawmaker, and indeed, no senator received any kobo from Mr. President or any foodstuff or any material for that matter, talk less of hoarding them.
“Rather, at the senate, we donated half of the members’ salaries for the purpose of cushioning the effect of COVID 19.
“We legislators equally played our part by purchasing and distributing palliatives to people at our different constituencies. So it is quite unfortunate for Muhammad or anyone to castigate us in the public and saying what is not true.”
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