•Govt calls for calm
By Dayo Johnson
THE lawmaker representing Ese-Odo constituency, Mr. Success Torhukerhijo and the Indigenous People of Ondo, IPO, yesterday, kicked against the composition of the committees set up by the state government to source funds and to distribute palliatives to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
While Torhukerhijo said the two committees set up by the government excluded Ijaw people from his constituency, the IPO see it as nepotism.
Kicking against the composition of the team, Torhukerhijo said: “I have gone through the list of the recently constituted committees of the state and discovered that the Ijaw, who constitute the minority tribe in the state are not included in these very important committees
“My people consider this act as vexatious and disturbing. As the representative of the people at the House of Assembly, I have received a lot of calls and text messages from religious leaders, opinion leaders, socio-cultural and youth groups who are irked by the Governor’s action.”
Also, the chairman of IPO, Austin Pelemo, at a press conference said: “The key members of the committee are not only related to the governor (by birth, marriage and tribe), they have also been known to be business partners and associates of the governor.
“For a committee whose mandate includes managing funds collected, directing funding campaign, sourcing funds on the behalf of the government, it is amazing that key administrative aspects of the entire fund management are in the full control of the proxies of the governor.”
Govt. calls for calm
But in a swift reaction, the Information and Orientation Commissioner, Mr. Donald Ojogo urged that the committee be given benefit of doubt to perform.
Ojogo said: “The state government wishes to appeal to the people of the State to give the Palliatives Committee the benefit of doubt as it sets out to discharge its duties.
“This becomes necessary given various submissions and observations made in respect of the composition of the 11-member Committee.
“Valid as these observations are in some cases, it is, impossible to accommodate all interests, especially in a State with 18 LGAs.”