Covid-19: Benue State Govt Flags Off Distribution Palliatives

Gov Ortom, lost to his former aide.

By Amos Aar, Makurdi

BENUE State government on Thursday flagged off the distribution of palliatives for the most vulnerable in the state.

The state governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, who was represented at the event by his deputy, Engr. Benson Abounu, performed the ceremony at the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BSEMA), Makurdi. Engr Abounu explained that the palliatives were donated through the collaborative efforts of the Coalition of Private Organisations Against Covid-19 and the Benue State government to cushion the hardship occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The food items donated  include 96,623 cartons of noodles, 49,401 10kg bags of rice, 49,201 bags of salt, 49,201 bags of semovita, 49,201 bags of sugar and 49,201 bags of spaghetti.

The governor cautioned against the diversion of the items to people who did not lack food, saying it was meant specifically for the “poorest of the poor.” He added that the local government chairmen will not share the items, but a committee will be set up to handle the task and it will be drawn from the clergy, traditional institution and civil society organisations, among others.

Ortom said while Cacovid provided the food items, the state government provided the warehouses to accommodate them and also paid the security personnel to guard it. He thanked Alhaji Aliko Dangote who is the Chairman of Cacovid which according to him is the highest distributor of palliatives not only in Benue State but also across the country. He disclosed that through Cacovid, Benue state got 200 beds for its isolation facility.

The governor expressed disappointment over the failure of the oil sector that promised to give the state 200 beds for isolation units but failed to fulfil it. He said that with the increasing number of positive cases in Benue, there is now shortage of treatment equipment forcing the state to resort to home treatment of covid-19 positive cases.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, BSEMA, Dr Emmanuel Shior, stressed that the targeted beneficiaries of the palliatives were the most vulnerable in the state. He made it clear that BSEMA under his watch will never give the items to those they were not meant for as identified by the Benue State Action Committee on covid-19.

In her address, the leader of Cacovid in the state, Mrs Fanen Nduur, said the fight against covid-19 is a collective one, hence the collaboration between Cacovid and the government.

In a remark on behalf of the local government chairmen in the state, Hon. Prince Samuel Onuh, Ogbadibo local government chairman, assured that there will be no diversion of the items. He said they would rather add to what Cacovid had provided.


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