As the lockdown placed on Adamawa state to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic enter its second week, , residents in the state are resorting to begging to earn their living.
This is coming as there are allegations that the money released by the state might have been diverted as they people are yet to receive any palliative either from the Federal ,state or local governments.
The state emergency management agency (ADSEMA) has been distributing relief materials in its stores to local government councils as palliative.
Contacted, the Executive Secretary, incharge of the Agency, Dr Mohammed Suleiman said he was not aware of any release of #500 million as palliative to cushion the effect of the lock down.
According to him, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri only directed him to distribute rice and other food stuffs to the 21 Local Government Councils.
The Executive Secretary confirmed that the commodity was part of the ten trucks of assorted rice sent to the state by the Nigeria Customs.
Residents spoken to ,however decried that despite the huge sum of N500 million said to have been earmarked by the State Government as palliative they were yet to receive any assistance as the hardship occassioned by the loockdown bites harder.
‘’We heard that the State Government has provided the sum of N500 million as palliatives but I can assure that no resident has received a kobo
‘’ For now, many residents have resorted to begging from other neighbours that have a little to survive” a resident lamented.
‘’ We are right now in double tragedy because it has become glaring that some people are helping themselves at our detriment while at a time the government forcefully caged us,’’ said Baba Musa , a local resident in Jimeta.
For Joseph Gulak, the travails are too much to bear,’’ this is the worst maltreatment that a government can clamp upon law abiding citizens, we may be forced by the situation to resort to civil disobedience,’’ he lamented
Also commenting , Mary Bako a local politician expressed concern that there could be preferential treatment in the distribution of the food stuff doled out by the agency, ‘’In fact, our fear is that even the food stuff that were given by ADSEMA to local government chairmen, could be tempered or shared along party lines; how can you expect fairness and transparency where chairmen, commissioners and members of the state Assembly are assigned for the distribution?
‘’ We expect to see their own palliative, but here they are waiting from the government,’’ she observed.
‘’ We are doing our best to assist’’ – Gov Fintiri reacts
Reacting, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri said that the government was mindful of the situation, hence he directed the state emergency agency (ADSEMA) to commence distribution of relief materials to local government councils as palliative.
Fintiri, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistance on Mobilization Barr. Sunday Joshua Wugira said, ‘’ the governor has directed ADSEMA to provide palliative to the people.
‘’Local governments have taken their share; there is a committee ,each local government chairman ,member of state assembly from the local government and commissioner constitute membership of each local government committee.
‘’ Those that collected their share are expected to start distribution to their people devoid of party preference,’’ Wugira noted.