FORMER Delta State Governorship aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, yesterday described the N20,000 palliative being reportedly paid to poor Nigerians by the President Mohammadu Buhari led Federal Government as another charade aimed at looting the country’s treasure at a critical time as this when the world was battling on how to contain the spread of dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
Onuesoke in online chat with newsmen held that nobody has acknowledged receipt of the N20,000 cash palliative, saying: “One unfortunate thing about this President Mohammadu Buhari led APC federal government is its penchant for telling lies and spewing media propaganda hence they cannot be trusted.
“How many poor Nigerians have you seen acknowledged the receipt or alert of N20,000 from the federal government? Coming to say they have started the distribution of N20,000 to poor Nigerians without any single proof is a big lie.
“This is another opportunity to loot our national treasury even at a time when the entire world is going through a very difficult ordeal as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the criteria used in arriving or ascertaining the poor and vulnerable?
“As a community development expert, I can categorically say that the federal government does not have a database to define the poor and vulnerable across Nigeria because most of them don’t even have a bank account not to talk of BVN.
“It is just an avenue to loot and siphoned the national treasury for personal gain and aggrandizement. If truly the federal government is sincere about social palliative to cushion the effect of the lockdown down, they would have provided 24 hours electricity with subsidized or free tariff for the people.
“You ask people to stay home without electricity and the enabling environment to sustain such order. Even if they cannot order the power company to supply electricity-free for the period of the lockdown, a responsible government would make a double effort to ensure 24 hours of electricity during the period of the lockdown.
“For example, having refrigerators and electric stoves is crucial for good health in time like this. Without electricity, food cannot be refrigerated or frozen. Buying and storing food in bulk is not an option.
“I equally condemn any act of brutality by men of the Nigerian army in their effort to enforce the stay at home order. The military ought to have carried out this noble task with a high sense of civility and restraints.
“Over time there has been cases and report of army brutality and violation of human rights whenever they are called upon to maintain public harmony and in most cases, nothing has been done about that.
“I think it is high time the federal government and the military high command should look into these cases and ensure that culprit of such brutality are made to face the full wrath of the law which may serve as a deterrent to others.
“What is expected of them in enforcing the lockdown is professionalism, restraints and tact, not forgetting the fact that we are not at war, it a stay at home order. No doubt all hands must be on deck in the fight against the spread of the pandemic covid-19 but we must go about with tactfulness.