The Plateau government has denied ever hoarding COVID-19 palliatives meant to be distributed to the vulnerable in the state.
The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Dan Manjang, in a statement on Saturday in Jos, said the food items looted in warehouses by protesters were brought in only recently by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the mob had burgled warehouses belonging to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Plateau Rural Water and Sanitation Agency and the Water Board.
Among items carted away were bags of assorted food items like rice, corn and beans.
The commissioner, who condemned the act, dismissed allegations that the palliatives meant for the vulnerable to reduce the hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic were hoarded.
He explained that all the palliatives purchased by the State and those donated by private individuals were distributed equitably by the State Palliative Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonni Tyoden.
“The items at the warehouses were delivered to the state by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management, for distribution to beneficiaries in Plateau
“The minister, Hajiya Sadiya Farouk, was in Jos along with her women affairs counterpart, Paullen Tallen, on October 16, to deliver the items and had, indeed, brought in the personel of the ministry to carry out the distribution in conjunction with Plateau officials.
“However, as they were preparing to begin the process, the #ENDSARS protests began which put the process on hold,” he explained.
He said that while the federal and state teams were waiting for the coast to clear to commence the distribution, the stores were burgled.
Manjang said that rumours claiming that Gov Simon Lalong was hoarding the items were wrong and mischievous.
“Government wishes to appeal to the citizens, particularly the youths, to continue to conduct themselves peacefully and avoid any action that could cause a breakdown of law and order,” he said.
He said that the ban on protests and procession was still in force with security agencies directed to arrest and prosecute defaulters.
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