By Olayinka Ajayi
Lawmakers in the National Assembly have tasked President Muhamadu Buhari on the need for aggressive disbursement of palliatives to those affected by the lockdown.
The legislators who commended the presidency for extending the lockdown for another 14 days explained that it is the only way to curtail the Coronavirus pandemic from spreading across communities.
Speaking after the presidential live broadcast, former deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said: ” The extension is expected because it’s a global challenge. We can’t relax when other countries are still on restrictions.
However, we must aggressively intervene with supplies of food and other items to more Nigerian to mitigate the effects of the lockdown.
“I feel for everyone affected by this lockdown. Every assistance should be directed through local governments who will, in turn, use the respective councilorss to reach out to the most vulnerable people in our communities.
” It is time we begin to create database and statistics of the social status of every Nigerian. This type of challenge may not cease after this. We must be prepared to support our people in a very transparent and creative manner in the future.
In the same vein, Senator representing Oyo central senatorial district, Teslim Folarin applauded President Buhari for the 14 days extension. He further urged the federal government to extend more palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians. According to him. “I support 100%. But more palliative should be done”.
Also aligning with the 14-day extension lockdown, member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency, Usuf Teejani said: “Unfortunately that is the way to go. Even the advanced nations are on the same path”.
While he appealed to Nigerians to comply with this directive, he urged the federal government to ameliorate the effect of the lockdown on our people. Said; “Those whose means of livelihood depends on working daily. Like the artisans, menial workers and those who work in the private sector should be attended to.
“COVID 19 has further brought to the fore the need for a national database. Equity and openness must guide the disbursement of the palliatives
Hon. Teejani, however, raised the need for security agencies to be on the watch as he alleged hoodlums taking advantage of lockdown. According to him: “The security situation is bad too. Robbers have taken over parts of Lagos and Ogun. There must be a concerted effort to protect the lives and property of our people”.
Also a member of the Federal House of Representative representing Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency, Tajudeen Adefisoye maintained that citizens should not be allowed to go hungry as a result of the 14 days extension. According to him: “The 14 days may appear burdensome to the citizens, especially the daily income earners, however, it is the best practicable decision at this time in the overall interest of our nation.
“We cannot afford to have an explosion in the transmission of the virus. We cannot afford to relax our containment measures and end up going the way of worst-hit nations like the US, Italy, Spain, and Iran. I will personally appeal to the people of my constituency and Nigerians at large to show understanding and comply with the sit-at-home directive.
“It is expected of all stakeholders to ensure that citizens that have been lockdown are not allowed to go hungry. Concerted efforts should be made to give them the needed relief packages. The federal government should also ensure that the Conditional Cash Transfer is made transparent and accountable to meets its purpose at this trying time”.