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CSOs In Rivers State Accuse Committee Of Sharing Food Items To PDP Party Faithfuls Instead Of The Vulnerable: Distribution Of Palliatives Ended In Obio/Akpor, PHALGA- Committee

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Covid -19 Situation Room In Rivers Decries Lack Of Transparent In Distribution of Palliatives

The Civil Society Organizations Covid -19 situation room in Rivers State has decried the seeming lack of transparency in the distribution of food palliative by Rivers State Government.

The civil societies organization situation room also frowned at the manner in which the distribution of palliatives were in rivers state.

Addressing the press conference in Port Harcourt the Chairman of the CSO Covid19 situation room Styvn Obodoekwe accused the food sharing committee of sharing the food items to PDP party faithfuls and cronnies instead of the vulnerable and poorest of the poor.

He said a situation where the committee will deposit ten bags of rice for PDP party faithfuls to share and the people is not aware of the on~going palliatives is not acceptable.

The spokesperson of the group, Kpalap Sabastian also at the  press briefing on Friday, said they are surprised to hear that distribution have been concluded in Port Harcourt and Obi/Akpor Local Government, the two largest LGAs in the state when there was no template in public domain that guided the selection of beneficiaries as well as quantities of items handed over to them.

The group alleged that the palliative committee lead by the newly elected Chairman of People’s Democratic Party(PDP) in the state, merely handed over quantity it liked to ward Chairmen of the party who in turn gave the items to community representatives of their choice thereby defeating the essence of provision of food palliative by the State Government.

Comrade Kpalap stated that information made avail to the CSOs and at the disposal of the organization indicates that places where distributions were made that the poor and the vulnerable whom the palliative were meant for, were reportedly excluded from the sharing. He said at Elelewon for instance 10 bags of rice was handed over to some chiefs for and on behalf of the entire community. Some community disclosed that the chiefs may have hijacked the rice as no family has received the food item to the best of their knowledge.

Comrade Kpalap noted that if nothing is done to review the strategies and ensure favoritism, nepotism, ethnicity, etc. are not made top priority and criteria in determining who gets the palliatives, the exercise may end up as huge waste and failure.

The Covid 19 situation room suggested for the inclusion of critical stakeholders such as the media, CSOs, Establishment of Community Response Unit(CRU) across the 23 local Government area, street by street compilation of beneficiaries, mapping out of all Orphanage centre, motherless homes, home for elderly and work plan for the distribution to the remaining LGAs made public to enthrone transparency and accountability.

The group also tasked members of the food palliative committee to maintain social distancing rules while carrying out their duty.

In his speech, Chairman of the group, Styvn Obodoekwe enjoined the media and other well-meaning Nigerians to help in exposing human rights infringement by state actors in these period of Covid-19 and beyond.

Our correspondent reports that Karl Chibedu Uchegbu, Co-Chairman, Green Isaac and Prince Ekpere Joint Secretary respectively, Bellonwu were all in attendance.

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