By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government of discriminating against some States in the disbursement of palliative funds and other essential materials meant to cushion the effect of coronavirus pandemic in the country.
It, therefore, urged the government to adopt an even disbursement and distribution measures to benefits all the states of the federation.
The opposition lawmakers in a statement issued by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, on Wednesday, warned that should the government ignore this advice, the efforts to arrest the rampaging might be counter-productive.
Also read: National Park boss calls for attitudinal change toward wildlife to avoid strange diseases
Elumelu said: “The current selective approach adopted by the Federal Government in allotting aids to states is unacceptable and counter-productive to the overall national efforts to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic and effectively check its spread.
“The selective approach is already sending wrong signals, fuelling avoidable divisiveness, allegations and counter-allegations of political and sectional marginalization in the polity and such must be checked immediately”.
Elumelu urged the government to note that the emergency situation occasioned by the pandemic affected all Nigerians who were united in the fight against the scourge.
“Nigerians are united in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and anything that will divide them at this moment must be avoided.
“The Federal Government should bear in mind that the social and economic challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic cut across all the states of the federation. It affects all Nigerians because they operate under the same economy and lockdown directives. Therefore, the selective approach in dissemination of aids and palliatives is not in the best interest of our nation. It will only send a very wrong signal and exacerbate the situation.
“What is expected at the moment is an even distribution of aids and palliatives to all states of the federation in a manner that extensively addresses the needs of the masses at this critical time”, the minority leader said.
Elumelu, however, commended the contributions of well-meaning citizens as well as the organized private sector in the national effort to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.