The Nigeria Governors’ Forum has denied allegations that the state governors hoarded palliatives meant for distribution to citizens in order to ameliorate their sufferings during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was contained in a statement titled: ‘Governors and the CACOVID palliatives’, signed by the Head, Media, and Public Affairs, NGF, Abudulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, in Abuja, on Monday.
Bello-Barkindo explained that since the beginning of the #EndSARS protests, the 36 state governors had held a series of meetings to address public concerns.
He said the governors equally identified with calls for justice and an end to police brutality, noting that several states had since set up judicial panels of inquiry to investigate excesses of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
The statement read in part, “The NGF regrets the loss of lives and property occasioned by the violent protests that erupted, and calls for calm.
“The NGF pleads with members of the public to desist from spreading rumors which further creates panic and stampede. For example, some of the properties stolen and vandalized, include palliatives set aside for vulnerable members of society.
“The NGF re-emphasizes and corrects the impression that palliatives found in warehouses that were broken into in Lagos and some other states were kept in storage for members of the society, especially our vulnerable citizens.
“The erroneous impression in the public domain that these palliatives were hoarded is not just inaccurate, entirely erroneous and untrue but also mischievous, to say the least.”
Bello-Barkindo further said, “For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous.
“As we know, CACOVID operations are mainly domiciled in Lagos, being the headquarters of most of the public-spirited organizations, corporate bodies, and individuals that came together to form the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
“Until mid-October, when the NGF had its last meeting, up to 10 states had not participated in the flag-off ceremonies for the distribution of palliatives in their states. This was because the items meant for distribution in these states had not been completely received from CACOVID.