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Abuja Lockdown: Why it’s difficult to divert our Palliatives – Minister


ABUJA — Minister of State in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has assured residents particularly the target demography for its Palliatives, that the items would get to them as they cannot be diverted by anyone. The minister who had last week placed a curse on anyone who made attempts to steal any of the items, said since the distribution began a week ago, there has been no diversion of any of the items in the Federal Capital Territory as alleged in some quarters. Aliyu made the clarification yesterday during the inspection of 50, 000 bags of rice and other food items meant for distribution across the 10 Wards of Gwagwalada Area Council of the Territory.

According to her, with the composition and structure of the monitoring team, it would be impossible for any diversion to take place. “I will be very clear with you, it is not possible with this team. I want to put it to you that the composition of this team is so strong across the 62 Wards of the six Area Councils of the territory. It is not possible for all of them to unite with 10 representatives each from all security agencies, civil society, Christian Association of Nigeria, League of Imams, Students, Youths, Political Parties and Women to team up together to divert palliative items. “I had to trace issues of diversion I heard only to discover that it is private organisations that just came to carry out their own civic responsibility and not our own team.

“For a diversion to succeed with the entire structure put in place, that means the police might have compromised, the DSS might have compromised and all other critical stakeholders might have compromised because in each ward you have representatives of these groups. I want to put it to Nigerians that this exercise is as transparent as possible and there is also the Call Centre toll-free lines for complaints,” Aliyu affirmed. She, however, vowed to hold representatives of the stakeholders accountable for any lapses during the exercise, just as she apologized for the delay in the distribution of the palliatives to underserved communities in Gwagwalada area council. According to her, “I most sincerely apologize to the entire members of Gwagwalada area council and on behalf of my team to take responsibility for the delay. We were ready yesterday but we had to come to a halt because the transport organizations almost held us to a ransom. I will tell you again that on behalf of the FCT Administration, we will take responsibility”.

Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA has provided foodstuff and other items to 287 widows in various military barracks in the territory as part of measures to cushion the effect of the sit-at-home order. Dr Aliyu, who made the symbolic presentation at the Mambilla Barracks Asokoro on behalf of the FCT Administration said the items would be distributed to 287 needy widows of the rank and file soldiers.

Aliyu said the beneficiaries were drawn from 7 Guards Battalion, Lungi Barracks, 102 Guards Battalion, Zuma Barracks, 176 Guards barracks, Gen. A.O Azazi Barracks Gwagwalada, 177 Guards Battalion, Shittu Alao Barracks Keffi, and Guards Brigade Garrison, Mambilla Barracks, Asokoro, Abuja. According to the minister, 70 widows were drawn from 7 Guards Battalion, Lungi barracks, while 36 widows drawn from 102 Guards Battalion, Zuma barracks, and 56 widows drawn from, 176 Guards Barracks, Gen. A.O Azazi Barracks Gwagwalada. Others are 60 widows drawn from 177 Guards Battalion, Shiytu Alao Barracks Keffi, and 65 widows drawn from Guards Brigade Garrison, Mambilla Barracks, Asokoro, bringing the total to 287 widows.