By Peter Duru
Indications emerged Wednesday on how part of the CACOVID palliatives distributed in Benue state got to Kano market.
Benue State Commissioner for Information and Tourism, Mrs. Ngunan Addingi who spoke on the matter at the end of the State Executive Council, EXCO, meeting in Makurdi explained that traders who benefited from the palliatives resorted to selling off the items rather than make use of them.
She explained that the leader of the traders who received the items on behalf of his members had been invited for questioning over the matter few months ago when the incident happened but regretted that a video trending on social media had portrayed the issue as a recent incident.
Mrs. Addingi said, “there is a video trending on social media that is talking about palliatives that had been given to Benue state but were sold in Kano.
“I wish to clarify that the matter did not happen in October. When the CACOVID distribution was made, the committee had met and decided that some of the market people and traders that were also affected by not being able to open their stalls for a long time should be beneficiaries of the intervention.
“So the market associations were invited during the sharing of the palliatives and they got their shares. So that is how some of the palliatives got to the market people.
“However we heard that the chairman of the Wurukum market, name withheld, who hails from Kano state had collected those items and instead of using the items for themselves felt they should sell them. That is how those things got to Kano
“As a matter of fact, the issue is being investigated and he was actually arrested. We leant that some of them sold the palliatives instead of using them because they needed the money more than the palliatives at the time.
“So that issue happened long ago and it has nothing to do with the #EndSARS protests or palliatives problems as the trending video tends to portray.
“In fact our Police Commissioner in Benue state is involved in that investigation and at the end of it he will brief everyone of their findings.”
On his part the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Anthony Ijoho who spoke on the issue of diversion of palliatives that were sent to Oju Local Government Area, said the investigative committee he heads was still looking into the matter assuring that anyone found culpable in the matter would be sanctioned accordingly.
“Governor Ortom had set up a committee headed by myself to look into the matter. We are still working on it but we want the police to help us to ensure proper investigation but by next week we shall forward our findings to the government for necessary punitive measures against anyone found wanting in that matter.
“We recall that Governor Ortom gave a clear directive that all the palliatives should be distributed without delay which was done. As if he saw what was coming,” Ijoho said