•Say disbursements fraudulent, poorly executed
•Food pack very ridiculous

Following the reported index cases of the ravaging coronavirus, COVID-19, in Lagos and Ogun states which has now crept into virtually all the states of the federation, President Muhammadu Buhari took the lead by announcing a lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Federal Capital Territory as part of measures to curtail the spread of the disease. Residents were ordered to stay at home for two weeks, which has now been extended by another two weeks, in addition to observing social distancing and keeping away from crowd. Other states adopted similar measures while announcing some palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown on the residents who have been denied their means of livelihood.

The citizens who were already groaning under the weight of the lockdown complained of boredom, frustration and hunger which according to them was worse than coronavirus. They therefore looked forward to the promised palliative from their government as a lifeline.

However, the citizens have expressed utter disgust and disappointment at the so called palliatives which they described as ridiculous. In some cases, food items that could not feed a family of six for a day were given to hundreds of residents to share while some states were yet to get their bearing right on how to provide palliatives for their people. In some states, the so called beneficiaries of the palliative were so pissed off that they rejected the food items. The people were disillusioned, agitated, and angry as they queried the government for leaving them to die of hunger.


By Dayo Johnson Akure.

Mr Banjo Ayenakin, Legal practitioner: So much have been said by the government about the disbursements of palliatives, but I have never seen anybody who claims to be a beneficiary. There are so much rumours ongoing that the purported palliative is a scam and a charade. The methodology of disbursements is questionable. There are questions beginning for answers: how are the poor identified? What is the mechanism for distribution of the materials? And when is the distribution done? The major complaint of people is that they have not seen the beneficiaries. If the distribution is done at all; it is poorly executed. People have labelled hunger as ‘COVID-20’ This must not be allowed to continue because the fallout may be gargantuan.

Venerable Nelson Fadoju, Cleric
If the government want people to stay at home, they must plan good food bank for the masses who can’t go out,work, or collect money from the banks. “Yes, government is trying to keep us safe but,we can’t run from coronavirus from outside to meet death at homes. America,China,India,Ghana, South Africa first planned well for their people before locking them at homes. This long lock-down at homes is biting hard on the little money we have on hands.


By James Ogunnaike Abeokuta

The relief package comprised of 5kg each of rice, beans, “gari”, as well as tomato pastes, vegetable oil, salt and seasoning cubes among others. The government said that each of the pack of seven food items was meant for a household of the elderly, the poor and the vulnerable and not for any street, group, or Community Development Association to unbundle and start sharing the items in bits and pieces, saying that this would defeat the purpose of the palliative. The palliative targeted 500, 000 households in the 20 local government areas that the state. Some residents of the state have however expressed disappointment at the distribution and inadequacy of heavily publicised food stimulus that ended up as a mirage. According to a resident who preferred anonymity, “the extremely dishonest leading members of the various committees selected by the Government at all levels, most especially at the local level are more greedy than monkeys”.
Another respondent, Peter Adigun, said “my take is that the Ogun state government has insulted our personality and integrity. My CDA at Obada got two packs of the stimulus for over 80 houses. In fact, it was delivered through Ewekoro Local Government.


By Ola Ajayi, and Adeola Badru, Ibadan
The distribution of palliatives will begin from next week, according to Governor Seyi Makinde. This was confirmed by the Commissioner for Information, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun and the Senior Special Assistant for Print Media, Mr Moses Alao. When the duo spoke with Saturday Vanguard, they said the governor has set up a task force headed by the Commissioner for Special Duties.
Olatunbosun said, the governor has said he would ensure the distribution of the items was monitored so that it does not have any political coloration as it was done in other states. He said, “the governor has set up a task force in charge of the palliatives. He wants it to go to the downtrodden. It is going to be distributed next week and it will be distributed to the poorest of the poor”.
Meanwhile, residents of the state have been anxious of what the governor has for them. A trader, Sunday Adetiloye, said, “we have not seen anything yet. We are hungry at home. The governor should do something like his counterparts in the neighboring states”.


By Shina Abubakar Osogbo

In Osun, residents condemned the palliatives provided by the government describing it as inadequate and of low quality. Many residents rejected the rice saying it has expired while others described it as not good for consumption. The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Prince Diran Odeyemi alleged accused the state government of being insensitive to the plight of the people who were asked to stay-at-home without adequately taking care of them. Odeyemi then urged Oyetola to speed up investigation into the supply of adulterated rice by members of his cabinet and prominent members of APC, saying those involved were the real enemies of Osun. The 21-man committee was yet to commence distribution of relief materials donated by individuals and corporate organisations.


By Rotimi Ojomoyela Ado Ekiti.

In Ekiti state, a pack of the palliative which comprised, rice, semovita, wheat and spaghetti was distributed to beneficiaries through the local government executives, union and religious leaders. In his reaction, the chairman of PDP in Ekiti state, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase said that the food pack distributed by the Ekiti state government was ridiculous. “How can you keep people indoor for four weeks and give them two sphagetti, two congos of rice, one kilogram of semovita and wheat which could not cushion the effect of lockdown on the residents. The palliative is just Christmas gift,and not a relief material, the government should review it in the interest of the people.
Also, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners Ekiti State chapter noted that none of its members was captured in the palliatives noting that “We have recorded several deaths of our members since this lockdown began, and most of our members especially from seventy years and above are now in critical condition due to hunger. The lockdown is a double jeopardy on our members because some of them were still being owed pension by government while their children who were supposed to provide food for them are also trapped in the locked down.

By Marie-Therese Nanlong.

Plateau state was yet to commence the distribution of any palliatives to its vulnerable citizens as the Governor, Simon Lalong only made mention of his intention to do so on a state-wide broadcast on Wednesday evening. Before then, the Governor had said available palliatives were the payment of salaries to public servants. But in the said broadcast, he disclosed he had set up a committee headed by the State Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden to immediately commence the distribution of the yet to be known palliatives. Saturday Vanguard gathered that as at Thursday afternoon, the palliatives committee was yet to have any meeting to strategize on what would be done but a source who did not want to be named said, “For now, we have not heard anything but I know there were foodstuffs that were bought before now. I don’t know exactly how it would be done but between now and Saturday, something would definitely be done about it.”


By Femi Bolaji, Jalingo

The government of Taraba state was yet to start the distribution of palliatives across the state.
Though the state is not on a total lockdown, some residents were expecting that the state government would tow the line of other governors across the country. An expectant resident of the state who simply gave his name as Joshua believed the palliative, if considered by the state government, would cushion the hardship of those sitting at home. Ha said, “civil servants from grade level 1-12 are at home and with our children at home too, more is being consumed. If the state government would consider this option of providing palliatives in form of food items, a lot of pressure on what to eat would be eased.”
Another resident of the state, Adamu, who is a tricycle operator said “currently we work from 8am -2pm after the lockdown was reviewed, but because most people are not going to work, we don’t get patronage as much as we used to. Also our children are at home, and the little I make is not even enough to cater for the three square meal of my family of 7. The state government should help us at least by distributing food to citizens of the state.”


By Samuel Oyadongha& Emem Idio

The state government penultimate week shortly after closing its borders dispatched foodstuffs to the eight local government areas for onward distribution to the people as palliatives to cushion the effects of the lockdown on the people of the state. Interestingly, markets selling foodstuffs in the state were not affected by the lockdown order making it easy for residents to purchase food items. However, there were complaints that the foodstuffs meant for Yenagoa Local Government Area and others did not get to the rural communities but were allegedly diverted and shared among some council officials’ family members, relatives and friends. But in his reaction, the Chairman of Mr. Uroupaye Nimizuo, who denied the allegations described them as mere blackmail, stressing that the food items were evenly distributed to the various communities.


By Egufe Yafugborhi & Davies Iheamnachor

The state Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike had released N2bn for provision of palliatives to cushion the effect of the stay at home order. Accordingly, a 13 man committee, headed by Ambassador Desmond Akawor, the state PDP chairman was set up to oversee the distribution of the palliatives.
In Rumuagholu, Obio Akpor, Chinedu Arubie, a resident said, “They gave each recipient a pack of indomie and spaghetti or two cups of rice and a pack indomie. And they shamelessly told us that it should last us through the lockdown.”
At Ihidioma/Ojoto Street Mile 2, Diobu, Port Harcourt City Council, PDP leaders in charge dispensed one pack of Indomie and one pack of spaghetti to residents in a rowdy atmosphere that defied the necessary Social Distancing to check the spread of Covid-19.
In Rumuigbo Ward 12 Obio/Akpor LGA, a CSO observer simply identified as Henry, said, “The food stuff arrived and the community opinion leaders shared it to themselves. Non indigenes were not given anything. Others got a packet of macroni.” Decrying lack of transparency in the distribution of the food palliatives, the Civil Society Organizations Covid -19 Situation Room, a multi-stakeholder advocacy team monitoring the global pandemic and its impact in Rivers frowned at the manner the exercise was being executed. Styvn Obodoekwe, Chairman of the Group accused, the sharing committee of “sharing the food items to PDP faithfuls and cronnies instead of the vulnerable and poorest of the poor. A situation where the committee will deposit ten bags of rice for PDP faithfuls to share and the majority of the residents not being aware of the palliatives is not acceptable.” Spokesperson for the group, Kpalap Sabastian, said, “We are surprised to hear that distribution has been concluded in Port Harcourt and Obi/Akpor, the two largest LGAs in the state when there was no template in public domain that guided selection of beneficiaries as well as quantities of items handed over to them.


By Chioma Onuegbu

The state government commenced the distribution of palliatives which it termed relief materials to three thousand (3, 000) villages across the three local government areas on Monday April, 13 to cushion the effect of the lockdown order and restriction of movement to check spread of COVID-19 pandemic to the state.
The palliatives which included staple foods- garri, flour, rice and beans were distributed to the citizens through their village heads. To ensure transparency, state government had earlier released a list of a10-man Local Government Committee for Disbursement of COVID-19 relief materials in each of the 31 LGAs. The committee comprised paramount rulers, village heads, state constituency lawmakers, youth and women representatives, representative of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) CAN coordinator among others. General comments/reactions from the residents over the state government effort have been that of commendation. However, Secretary to State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem noted that the state has not yet received any palliatives from the Federal government stressing, “I am not saying that we have not heard about it, we are still looking forward to it”


By Emma Una & Harris Emmanuel

There was obvious anger in the state over the absence or poor distribution of palliatives by government officials charged with the responsibility. Last week, the State Response Task Force on COVID 19 announced that the sum of N240m would be distributed among eleven thousand nine hundred households across the state but there have been no reports from any part of the state of anyone having seen or received any money as palliatives.

Dr Beta Edu, the State Chairman of the COVID 19 Taskforce announced that each household would get 40,000 each comprising money from the federal government and what she calls top up from the state but no household has confirmed receiving the money. The money she said would be distributed by a team led by each commissioner from the respective local government areas.

“Where in Odukpani did they distribute the money? Dr. Inyang Asibong went on radio to announce that 5000 people have been given money in Odukpani, she should come here and point to the houses she gave the money,” Angelina Ene, a resident of Odukpani said.

At Yala local government in the northern part of the state nobody confirmed having been given any money. Normally, it is local government staff who distribute the 5,000 Conditional Cash Transfer money but with the lockdown, we have not seen anybody here with anything as palliatives” Chief Edwin Ominya said. Last Wednesday, Governor Ben Ayade, commissioned food bank meant to serve as palliatives to the vulnerable and poor. He said the food would be distributed among church leaders, traditional rulers, and disabled but did not announce what quantity each group would get.


By Ozioruva Aliu

In Edo state, the food items being distributed by the state government has been generating controversies. The state government mobilised tonnes of relief materials mostly rice, noodles, garri and beans. First there were allegations that the items being distributed were grossly inadequate for an average family, as well as the mode of distribution as there were allegations of diversions.

A middle aged woman who identified herself as Frances Ali said what they brought to her area along Murtala Muhammed Way in Benin City was grossly inadequate.
“They said it was for the elderly, widows and the poor but what they were sharing was just some packs of noodles and garri and I asked how long the food will last the beneficiaries when it can not ever serve for for one meal”

In Orhionmwon, the materials were distributed through councillors to their various wards but there were reports of alleged diversion. In Egor local government area, the situation became tensed that the council chairman, Eghe Ogbemudia was physically assaulted while trying to ensure that the palliatives got to the real vulnerable in the area but the items were reportedly diverted by some leaders in the area alleging that what was brought was not enough.

In some local government areas in Edo Central Senatorial District, there was a clash between personnel of a local government area and some civil society groups who were out to monitor distribution as the activists alleged there were attempts to divert the materials.

In Akoko-Edo local government area, the situation was not different as there were allegations of politicians hijacking the sharing making it difficult to know whether the items actually got to the poorest of the poor. There are two homes for lepers in the local government area; one in Igarra and the other in Imoga with not less than 30 inmates each. Investigations by Saturday Vanguard showed that the two homes got a paltry two bags of 10kg of rice and one bag of 10kg beans each just as it was gathered that 146 packs of garri were yet to be delivered to the council.


By Festus Ahon & Jimitota Onoyume

In Delta, the state government was yet to distribute food palliative. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa however promised to open the food bank within the next 72 hours during his broadcast on Tuesday morning.
He assured that the food palliative would be distributed across the Federal wards in the State and across political parties. In Warri, the residents were complaining that instead of coronavirus, they now had hunger virus noting that they did not envisage the extension of the lockdown for another 14 days.

“There is hunger. The lockdown for another 14days is a major problem for us,” a resident who simply identified herself as Roseline in Ugbuwangwe said. Chairman of Warri South local government, Dr Michael Tidi was one of the council bosses in the three Warri local government areas that gave out palliative a day before the first fourteen days lockdown took off. “We gave out trailer load of rice, beans, Onion, Garri to the people through the various wards in the local government area. He told the Saturday Vanguard that the state government’s palliative was being awaited. Some residents in Uvwie local government area who spoke to Saturday Vanguard after a protest in Sapele, by women said they were mobilising for a similar protest before security operatives stopped them. “We are hungry. Hunger virus is worst than Corona Virus. We need palliative from the government and our political leaders that can take care of us, Andrew, a resident on PTI road said.


By Vincent Ujumadu

There had been tremendous response from government and individuals in Anambra State to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent stay – at – home order.

Following an appeal by the state government, many corporate organizations and individuals responded.
The donations assisted the state government in setting up and equipping isolation centers in Awka and Onitsha, as well as in other parts of the state. Part of the funds realized also went into the provision of palliatives for the people. For instance, the state government provided bags of rice for all those who are 70 years and above in all the 326 political wards in the state. A special committee was set up in all the communities to handle the exercise and so far, there has not been any complaint.

Apart from the state government, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, provided food items that included bags of rice, beans, among others, for all the communities in the state.

In a similar manner, the managing director of Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority, Chief George Moghalu, former managing director of Transcorp Plc, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo and the Senator representing Anambra Central, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, also distributed food items and cash to the various communities in the state. Saturday Vanguard observed that most people collected from various sources.
Kano state collecting donations for palliative.


By Abdulmumin Murtala, Kano

The Kano state government had established a fund raising committee headed bythe Vice Chancellor of Bayero University Kano, Prof Yahuza Bello, which has received N473 million in cash and pledges and about 3000 bags of rice from individuals and groups as well as 100 million naira worth of medical facilities from Lebanese residents in Kano. A resident, Sarki Mai Wanki who runs a local laundry in Kano, speaking on the palliative said, “I heard that the state government is planning to share palliative in the state but we don’t know how. We call on the state to assist us because if we don’t work for a day, we might not be able to eat the next day. We don’t know what we will do waiting at home for seven days without food”.


By Wole Mosadomi

The state government set up a committee in each of the 25 local government areas of the state which include Councillors, Party Chairmen, Ward Heads, Christian and Muslim religious leaders in each Ward for effective distribution of the palliative to the people. Niger State released the sum of N300m to purchase rice, maize and millet to be distributed to the people. Chairman of the Task Force on COVID-19 in the state who is also Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ibrahim Matane said the palliative was a gesture by the state government to reach out to people of the state in an effort to cushion the effect of the lockdown but that it would be impossible to reach out to everybody in the state.

According to him,”there is no how the palliative can reach out to everybody and so, our focus will be on the vulnerable people among us. Ten bags of rice, maize and millet were allocated to each Ward of the 25 local government areas of the state. As usual, there were mixed reactions from the people across the state over the distribution.

While many applauded the gesture of the state government for reaching out to them, many condemned the initiative pointing out that government was bigger than what they have offered them.One Abdullahi Mohammed said,” what is one mudu of rice and two mudus of maize and millet for us when even individuals are doing better than this.

The government should not have done anything instead coming out with this disgraceful package called palliative.”Another man simply called Alkali said,” We just heard that the state government was distributing food to people in my area but honestly, I only heard of it but didn’t smell or feel it.”A woman, Mrs. Bunmi Kolade was however of the opinion that anything that comes to people as a gift should be appreciated no matter how small it is. “I have not benefitted from the palliative but I heard of it and I am not grudging anyone. Even if I am given only one mudu of rice, I will accept it and remain grateful to government,” she remarked. The distribution was still ongoing but the general reaction so far from the people was that they were not satisfied with the palliative being given to them by the state government.


By Demola Akinyemi

Chairman, Technical Committee of Covid-19 in Kwara state and Deputy Governor Mr Kayode Alabi had insisted that the palliatives being distributed by the state government were meant for the poorest among the residents in order to cushion the effect of the total lockdown.

NGOs, traditional rulers and community heads among others were engaged by the state government to assist in the identification of beneficiaries and distribution of the palliative. Saturday Vanguard gathered from one of the distribution centers, at Sabo-Oke area of Ilorin, that four bags of 5kg re-bagged rice, one litre of oil, salt and few condiments were sent to a three storey building in Muritala street that had about twenty six local rooms of more than fifty residents who were counted to be in need that would share the items sent to the house.

At the end each person couldn’t share a tin milk of rice, same with the difficulty in sharing other items. In Offa, specifically at Shawo South East Ward of the Offa local government Mrs Angela Okoye, the CEO of Organisation for the Sustenance of the Nigerian Environment (OSNE) who handled distribution of palliatives in the area told Saturday Vanguard that 45 compounds were identified. She said, “there are four families per compound and we shared the palliatives to them according to needs and vulnerability”. On how long the palliative would last a family, she said some families would finish their share in a day or two depending on size” In Kaiama local government area in the northern part of the state, the government sent money to the residents as palliatives. Saturday Vanguard gathered from the beneficiaries that N1000 only was given to each family and there were bitter complaints about what could be done with N1000 by a family of six. According to one of them, “we don’t really understand what they expect us to use N1,000 to purchase and for how long they expect us to spend the money. Many people will die of hunger than the numbers of death recorded against COVID-19.


By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Benedict Adejoh: I only hear of the word palliatives on television, radio or sometimes read in the newspaper that the federal government had put measures in place to extend the support to Nigerians to mitigate the pains of the policies occasioned by the COVID-19 global pandemic but in reality I have not seen or benefited from it. Let nobody deceive anyone, we have not seen it here. The fact of the matter is that the federal government failed to prepare for this situation and that accounts for the inability of the government to take steps like other countries of the world to assist its populace who are going through harrowing experiences due to the lockdown.

Peter Abutu: which palliatives are they talking about? So far we are aware that the state government few days ago commenced the distribution of hand sanitizers and some other materials. Outside that we have not seen any of the palliatives from the federal government. Maybe Benue was not listed among the states to benefit from the largesse but it is most unfortunate that the federal government would go out there to tell the would that they are distributing palliatives and we are not seeing anything here in Makurdi where the people are suffering the harsh effects of the lockdown than those in the villages because we buy almost everything we consume. Moreover it is in the main towns that you find the large majority of those who earn daily wages to take care of their families but with the lockdown they now live from hand to mouth.



In Adamawa State, the Executive Secretary of Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, ADSEMA, Dr. Sulaiman Mohammed, whose body was responsible for the distribution of palliatives announced that each of the 21 Local Government Areas of the state was allocated a truck load of the palliative items consisting of 600 bags of rice and other items.

But, the big question the residents were asking was how were the items distributed? Figures available to Vanguard showed that all the 21 Local Government Areas got a trailer load each, the PDP state secretariat got four trucks, the governor’s wife was allocated a truck while all the ministries, parastatals and other government agencies also got their own shares. An Artisan in Jimeta Modern Market, Mallam Inusa Husseini alleged that all the rice distributed under the palliative found its way to the market noting that all the stores in the market were now stocked with rice, an indication that the palliatives went to wrong persons. Mallam Ismaila Bature, a resident of Jimeta also alleged that “the palliatives were meant for government cronies and PDP supporters. The palliatives were divided along party line and to top government officials, instead of the ordinary people who were locked out of their businesses during the lockdown period.

The shoddy way the palliatives were distributed in Adamawa State generated a lot of controversy between the opposition APC and the State Government with Dr. Umar Duhu, an APC Stalwart and Former National Vice Chairman (North East) accusing the state government of only favoring its cronies even as the state government reacted by giving Umar Duhu seven days withing which to withdraw the allegation.


By Anayo Okoli & Chinedu Adonu

In Enugu, the State Government was yet to receive any help from the Federal Government on provision of palliatives to the people particularly the vulnerable.

But the State Government on its own provided cash and some food items to the vulnerable which included bags of Coal City brand of rice, maize and millet as well as cartons of noodles, assorted brands of beverage drinks, tomato paste, seasonings and bottles of water, among others.

To ensure that the materials got the targeted group, Governor Ugwuanyi directed that the items should be distributed through the churches and mosques as well as traditional rulers and town unions in the rural areas. The Archbishop of Anglican Communion, Enugu Province, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma confirmed the receipt of the materials for the vulnerable in his church. Fr. Evans Offor, was however not happy with the items provided, saying it was little. According to him, the state government has enough money to take care of every family in this situation, insisting that “what is worth doing is worth doing well”.


By Ugochukwu Alaribe

In Abia State, the state government and well meaning individuals provided palliatives, including cash and food items across the 17 council areas of the state to cushion the effects of the lockdown.

The state government distributed its palliatives through churches, mosques, traditional rulers and town unions. According to the Commissioner for Information and member, State management Committee on COVID-19; Chief John Okiyi Kalu, the government chose to distribute the items through religious organizations, traditional rulers and town unions because of the need to ensure political neutrality in the distribution to vulnerable persons as well as prevent clustering of people who may need the items.

“Each church, mosque and town union, received bags of rice, beans, tubers of yam, hand sanitizers, face masks and cash to take care of vulnerable persons among their members. Governor Ikpeazu directed the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to liaise with traditional rulers and president general of town unions to ensure that those who were not within the church/mosque bracket of the state also got the palliatives.


By Peter Okutu

In Ebonyi State, the Government was said to still be putting modalities in place to begin the distribution of palliatives to the citizens of the State.

The Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Kenneth Ugbala, after a meeting with Governor David Umahi also said that he could not authoritatively confirm, if Federal government’s palliative had arrived the State. But the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Orji Uchenna Orji, had in one of his briefings, stated that the Government had earmarked N1.5 billion for palliatives to the citizens to cushion the impact of the lockdown in the State but it is not certain when this would commence. “Names are being compiled at the Ward level, among Okada riders Associations and various categories of persons including widows, the elderly and youths in the State”, Orji had said.


By Ibrahim Hassan

Initially, the Kaduna State Government earmarked N500 million as palliative fund to procure and distribute food items to the vulnerable in the eight Pilot Local Government Areas of the State.

However, some individuals and groups joined the philanthropic crusade and reached many people with varieties of relief items. An NGO, Okuma Sunday Foundation, presented rice, beans, grains, yams and indomie to the widows in Sabo, Kaduna.

In a similar development, about 1000 vulnerable households in Kaduna State were given food palliatives by the Muslim World League, a Saudi Arabian Muslim Organisation. The palliatives comprising 1kg bag of rice, a cartoon of spaghetti and 4liters of vegetable oil were distributed to each of the beneficiaries who were carefully selected from vulnerable homes in Kaduna communities.


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