By Ikenna Obianeri
The South East All Progressives Congress Young Progressives Forum, Anambra State Chapter, has asked the Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to account for the Federal Government’s subsidy palliatives assigned to the state.
In a statement co-signed by the National Convener of the group, Paschal Candle and others, on Saturday, the group decried that everything about the FG’s palliative was being shrouded in secrecy in Anambra.
The group said without the revelation by the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, after the National Executive Council meeting held on Thursday, Ndi Anambra would not be aware of such gestures coming into the State.
They therefore demanded for the setting up of a Steering Committee to supervise the judicious distribution of the already released five trucks of rice to vulnerable people across the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra State.
The statement read, “We are all aware from the National Executive Council meeting held on Thursday, the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum told Nigerians that the Federal Government had already released five trucks of rice to all states last week and that the N5 billion was approved by Mr President for disbursement to the states to enable each of the states to procure additional 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize and fertiliser to be distributed to the most vulnerable across their various states.
“Without this revelation, Ndi Anambra will not be aware of such gestures coming into the state. Everything is done in secrecy. People are not being carried along. We are wondering why the state government, after receiving the items, refused to announce to the people of Anambra State that it has taken possession of the FG’s palliatives and the cash. We believe that this is a deliberate act by APGA-led government in Anambra State to continue to paint APC in Anambra State in a bad light.
“We cannot fathom the reason why Governor Soludo is finding it difficult to announce the arrival of the federal government palliatives to the state and also why it has been pretty difficult to distribute same or constitute a committee that will take charge of the distribution. Is Governor Soludo waiting for the people of the state to die of hunger before he deems it fit to make the palliatives available to serve its purpose at the right time?
“We are therefore calling on the governor who was present at the NEC meeting and at the press briefing thereafter to as a matter of urgency inform the people of Anambra State about the status of the five trucks of rice that was released by the Federal Government to Anambra State for distribution to vulnerable households. This is for the sake of transparency and accountability.
“All genuine stakeholders in the Anambra State project should plead with Soludo to release the rice palliatives sent to the state by the Federal Government for these items to get to the needy on time as the purpose for sending it down is not to be locked up in a hidden warehouse in the state, as they did before during Covid-19 era.
“The diversion of the rice palliatives by the state government as it is being touted by some concerned discerning minds in the state would have a debilitating effect on the image of the reigning state government.
“Again, if the news spreading like a wild fire across the state that Soludo is trying to play a fast one on the palliatives from Abuja by sharing it to all APGA members or supporters of APGA or to allow only Ndi APGA to be in charge as they did during Willie Obiano era is anything to go by, it shall be resisted by all legal means.
“We have credible information that the State Government is planning to write ‘Solution is here’ on those palliatives. This game plan will fail. Because they are trying to deceive Ndi Anambra into believing he is the one providing those palliatives when in actual fact, it is President Bola Tinubu and APC programme.”
The group pointed out that a Steering Committee should be composed of representatives of Town Unions/traditional rulers, the clergy and the major political parties in the state to ensure that the palliatives are shared only to the most vulnerable across the entire communities in Anambra State and not as a means of settling supporters of APGA chieftains.