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We kept looted COVID-19 palliatives for vulnerable people – NGF

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has said that contrary to what has been reported, the looted COVID-19 palliatives in warehouses in some states were kept by some governors for the vulnerable in their respective states.

Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, Head of Media and Public Affairs for the Forum, who made the clarification in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said the distribution of palliatives from the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), was delayed because some states were yet to receive their own portion of the palliatives.

”While some states are yet to begin distribution because they had not fully received items meant for distribution, palliatives found in warehouses in Lagos and some states were kept for the vulnerable,” Bello-Barkindo.

He stressed that palliatives found in warehouses that were broken into in Lagos and some other states were kept in storage for members of the society, especially our vulnerable citizens.

“For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous,” he said.

“As we know, CACOVID operations are mainly domiciled in Lagos, being the headquarters of most of the public-spirited organisations, corporate bodies, and individuals that came together to form the Coalition Against COVID-19; CACOVID.”

He added that up to 10 state governments had not participated in the flag-off ceremonies for the distribution of palliatives in their states as of mid-October when the NGF had its last meeting.

This, Bello-Barkindo explained, was because the items meant for distribution in these states had not been completely received from CACOVID.

“Some other states that still had palliatives in their warehouses chose to keep a strategic reserve ahead of a projected second wave of COVID-19.”

“Furthermore, as of a couple of weeks ago, some states were still receiving palliatives from the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development.”

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According to him, the NGF also assured all contributors to the palliatives that prior to the looting of the warehouses, states had kept full accounts of all the items received and distributed.

While calling on members of the public to check their facts and to be wearied of narratives that could damage the country, Bello-Barkindo said the governors recognised the need for improved governance.

“The state governors are doing their very best under the circumstances to ameliorate the needs of the teeming population,” he said.

“The NGF stands for justice, improved governance, and a progressive Nigeria. The NGF regrets the loss of lives and property occasioned by the violent protests that erupted and calls for calm. A lot of the information circulating the social media needs to be fact-checked.”

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