The IGBO RENAISSANCE FORUM is using this medium to thank the Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Sadiya Farouq, for taking the pains in this COVID-19 PANDEMIC period to travel all the way to Uli, in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state, just to 'give cash' to those who have their names on her list.
We also want to quickly intimate the general public, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the South East political leaders that the "CASH SHARING SHOW" spearheaded by the Minister for Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in Uli, Anambra state was laughable on one hand and gingerly devious at the same time.
We were anxiously expecting the honourable minister, when she showed up at St Theresa's Catholic Church Uli, in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state, yesterday 8th of April 2020 to really surprise us and make the visit worth its while, but unfortunately, even though not surprising, it was a sad anticlimactic episode.
Even though the minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq stated expressly that the Federal Government has given instructions for two months advance of the monthly stipend under the NSIP Programme be paid to the poorest in the society, it is unfortunate that we didn't see this happen on ground, and we ask, WHY?.
For the records, it is interesting to note that there is an outstanding 4 months arrears owed the people with their names on the list that was used for the disbursement in Uli yesterday.
The arrears owed was what the honourable minister came to offset as twenty thousand naira (20,000) was given to the recipients at St Theresa's Catholic Church Uli, in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state on Wednesday 8th of April, 2020.
Our Question now is, "WHERE IS THE TWO MONTHS ADVANCE AS DIRECTED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?".
It is very clear from elementary arithmetic, that if twenty thousand naira was paid to people you are already owing for 4 months at five thousand naira (5,000) monthly, it means that no palliative was offered to the recipients based on the COVID-19 PANDEMIC stimulus package as claimed by the ministry in charge.
We are therefore asking that the honourable minister to kindly and expeditiously ensure that these individuals get the balance of ten thousand naira (10,000), representing the cash for the two months in advance immediately, to help them through these tough times of lockdown and shutdown.
We are however not enthused by such development, as it makes a caricature of the reason for this palliative.
We also want to point out for the records also, that for the second time, we are raising concerns about the risk occasioned by this primitive method of doling out cash across the table.
We have attached pictures of the" MONEY SHARING SHOW", and it is obvious that social distancing and safety precautions for the spread of COVID-19 was thrown to the wind. (Pictures attached)
We are therefore holding the minister and the Anambra state Government responsible for such actions that exposed citizens to COVID-19 infection.
We wonder how such an event did not attract the attention of the state government and why the state health and COVID-19 Team officials failed to make efforts at ensuring that the lives of its citizens are not endangered while trying to collect "arrears of their stipends'. We need answers and fast too.
Like we pointedly made clear in our Press Statement of Monday, 6th of April 2020, we as an Organization shall do whatever is legal in ensuring that the palliative promised to Nigerians is delivered at the highest level of accountability and transparency.
Once again, we are eagerly waiting for the two months advance to be immediately effected in Uli, Ihiala local government area of Anambra state.
Finally, we demand that the full list is used for this disbursement exercise be put up on the website of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for clarity and accountability.
We advice citizens to stay home and stay safe.
Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka (Oyi)
International Coordinator - Igbo Renaissance Forum
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +234 708 312 1937