The efforts by the Narasawa State Government to provide vulnerable residents of the state with palliatives to cushion the effect of the Covid-19 lockdown have suffered huge setback.
This is as a result the alleged diversion of bags of rice meant for distribution to the vulnerable residents by councilors and party officials who were saddled with the responsibility of sharing the items.
The Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, had procured 13 trailers of rice and distributed 600 bags to each of the 13 local government areas of the state as palliative measures to cushion the effect of the lockdown.
ExpressDay learnt that, in Kokona Local Government, the committee set up in each of the ward in the LG comprises of Councilors , party chairman , ward leaders to handle the distribution of the rice allegedly diverted part of the commodity for personal use.
However, investigation by ExpressDay gathered that the officials allegedly diverted the rice and sold it to traders in Keffi town.
Responding to questions from our correspondent, some of the vulnerable people in Kokona local government insisted that nobody was given rice in the area.
A resident of the area who gave his name as Abubakar, said: “I have been hearing that they are sharing rice, but we in Kokona have not seen any rice. Only yesterday we heard that the rice meant for Kokona was sold to Igbo traders in Keffi.
“It is a pity that our leaders have no human sympathy to the common people.”
Responding to questions from our correspondent, the Executive Chairman of Kokona Local Government Area, Mr Saidu Kuriki, said that he was not aware of the allegation. He, however, vowed to find out from the Unit Committee members what actually transpired.
He further explained that 600 bags of rice were given to the local government and that a committee was set up to handle the distribution.
Each polling unit, he said, got 5 bags of rice and they left for distribution.
He expressed shock to hear that the rice was diverted to Keffi.
On the other hand, our correspondent gathered that in Keana Local Government Area, each the 10 electoral wards got 60 bags of rice.
However, some residents said that they only got less than a ‘mudu’ (small unit of measure) of rice from the officials.
Also, residents of Masaka, a densely populated area in Karu Local Government Area of the State, said that the rice was only given to widows and aged women.
“I saw some people come with half bags of rice and were sharing to old women and widows. In fact, some got a cup full of rice. Out of annoyance, some people threw away their own and decided to go home empty.
“I don’t know the kind of government we are having. If you want to support someone, do it in a way that he will appreciate it. To me, nobody got any palliative in this area,” lamented Moses Ajiya, a resident of Zheun area of Masaka.