By Galaxy Imanmadu
Human rights activist and Executive Director of Global Action Against Hunger, Crime and Violation of Peoples’ Rights (GAHCAVPER), Comrade Emeka Nwokocha, has said that the distribution of palliatives to Deltans by the Delta State government was not holistically transparent and successful, noting pockets of challenges that obstructed the exercise and robbed needy Deltans the opportunity of receiving the palliatives in some wards.
Comr. Nwokocha, gave the charge recently, in Warri, headquarters of Warri south LGA of the state, while identifying pitfalls in the manner government initiated assignments are often executed, saying the distribution of the palliatives was done in bad faith in some wards.
He called on the Governor to investigate properly how the distribution of the palliatives to needy Deltans was carried out during the lockdown order across the state, in order to avail his office the benefit of unbended facts.
His words, “I am constrained to call on the governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, to investigate thoroughly how the palliatives were shared so he would be fully abreast of the challenges that trailed the exercise. This call is imperative against the backdrop of complaints that trailed the distribution of the palliatives. Most worrisome is that some persons have stampeded the media space in recent times to trumpet the ‘success’ of the palliatives distribution exercise to high heaven, even as they cast blind eye to errors that characterised the exercise.”
Continuing, Comr. Nwokocha said, “I do not have any doubts that palliatives were despatched from the Delta Food Bank on the order of the governor to be distributed to Deltans to cushion the harsh economic effect of the lockdown on vulnerable families. But how the assignment was carried out in the 270 wards is another matter of paramount importance.
“I think the governor Okowa meant well in every sense of the word, but the truth is, the exercise was everything but transparent.”
Pushing his views further, Comr. Nwokocha, said, “I become agitated whenever I hear the governor making a blanket claim that the needy Deltans were well fed with government palliatives during the lockdown, when it is obvious that the palliatives were hijacked in some areas, thus making nonsense of the good intentioned policy. It is not a hidden truth that in some areas, the distribution of the palliatives was a charade but the governor may not know this basic fact. Even where the distribition of the palliatives had some level of transparency, some group of persons, I mean non indigenes got nothing. These are salient facts governor Okowa must take to heart this auspicious time.
“The point is, if critical government actions like the distribution of the palliatives would not achieve the purpose for which they were embarked on, then something must be wrong somewhere.”
While imploring governor Okowa to heed his call, Comr. Nwokocha said that it was only an unbaised platforms like the Civil Society Organisations (CSO), and journalists that could tell the governor the plain truth about what happened in the field. He described as unfortunate, shoddy transaction that limited the objective of the palliatives. He queried, “why would anybody not investigate thoroughly how the palliatives were distributed, but would quickly use megaphone to announce to the world that vulnerable families in Delta state equitably received palliatives during the lockdown, thereby peddling wrong and unbridled information to massage the psyche of gullible public.”
“It is an undisputed fact that governor ifeanyi Okowa will not be everywhere to monitor all these assignments, the reason he needs credible persons like the journalists and CSOs to give him a detailed and untainted report on the distribution of the palliatives.
“I strongly call on the governor to initiate a transparent investigation to ascertain the degree of success made in distribution of the palliatives, and identify the inherent challenges in the exercise, so as to correcting the obvious errors in future. I believe it is the right thing to do, most importantly, as the governor sets for distribution of another tranche of palliatives soon.”
He continued, “I am sure governor Okowa will be shocked when he would be exposed to the absurdities that characterised the palliatives distribution exercise across the state. I implore him to put his ears on the ground, then he would hear the echoes of complaints that greeted the exercise.
“As it stands currently, the people have lost confidence in the ability of the government to organise and implement any people-oriented policies in a coordinated and transparent manner.
“I charge governor Okowa to correct that impression in the minds of the populace as urgent as possible by ensuring the right people with unblemished character and integrity handle critical government assignments in the future.”