THEWILL EDITORIAL: CACOVID Palliatives: Of Greedy Governors, Crooked Aides And The Shameless Breach Of Social Contract

SAN FRANCISCO, November 04, (THEWILL) – In saner climes, most, if not all, of the State Governors currently threatening fire and brimstones on the unruly Nigerians who stormed various warehouses where food donations by the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) were stored across the country to help themselves with the food palliatives, would have resigned their appointments by now.

While not condoning or supporting the actions of the unruly Nigerians, THEWILL had earlier stated its position, very clearly, on the matter.

However, we still find it quite surprising that these greedy governors and their crooked aides, including lawmakers at both the federal and state legislatures, are still parading themselves about without any shame or remorse after turning food palliatives provided by kind-hearted Nigerian corporates and individuals for the poor and vulnerable into another constituency allowance.

Clearly breaching the social contract they had with CACOVID, they go about portraying themselves as the champions of the people, deceiving the masses with their political mantra, while in actual fact, they are more wicked than the devil.

Not showing any compassion and having failed in their duties and responsibilities to the people, the political class and their collaborators went ahead to start using food items that other people provided free as a weapon of political control against poor and hungry Nigerians.

Playing dirty politics with the lives and destiny of millions of vulnerable Nigerians, these greedy politicians successfully cornered the food palliatives, just as they did with the ones earlier provided by the Federal Government, as they started sharing it to satisfy their whims and caprices after locking the people down for over five months.

We, however, feel that the zeal and energy now being put into conducting house-to-house search for looters of the food palliatives in some of the states would have won the Governors great awards if such had been deployed in the official distribution of the palliatives in the first instance.

The private sector-led CACOVID had risen to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic by launching out as a Task Force to work in partnership with the Federal Government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in providing the necessary items for the vulnerable across the country.

Having done great work in providing state-of-the-art medical facilities across the six geo-political zones in the country, CACOVID had stepped up its game by flagging off the distribution of a N23 billion food palliatives scheme.

The plan is to provide essential food items to about 1.7 million families, including some 10 million people spread across the 774 local governments in the country and the federal capital territory (FCT). The target of the food palliatives scheme is actually a whopping N120 billion out of which N30 billion had already been raised, translating into 35 per cent of the target.

CACOVID administrator and CEO of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), Zouera Youssoufou, had explained that the food distribution was the next phase in the line of action as she disclosed that CACOVID had already divided the country into the six geo-political zones and the distribution was being flagged-off simultaneously in Adamawa, Yobe, Ekiti, Ogun, Delta, Edo, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Plateau, and Nasarawa states.

While strict conditions were spelt out for the distribution in accordance with proper due diligence, compliance, speed and accountability because of the integrity and calibre of the promoters of CACOVID, THEWILL can authoritatively state that only a few states complied fully with CACOVID’s template and guidelines.

The states which complied fully with the guidelines and timelines on the distribution are Benue, Delta, Plateau, Jigawa, Niger, Yobe and Nasarawa, with Borno actually coming tops on the list.

Unfortunately, the other state governors who didn’t comply fully with CACOVID’s distribution guidelines and directives, thus bungling the goodwill, are the ones making the most noise now instead of burying their heads in shame.

Now that the lid has been blown open for most of them, they are now running from pillar to post, with the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) trying to make excuses for these shameless and greedy governors.

From Kano State where the palliatives were actually rebagged to Lagos where lawmakers have turned CACOVID food items into souvenirs to be shared on birthdays and through Edo State where a federal lawmaker was publicly announcing at a distribution ceremony that the CACOVID items were personally procured by him for his constituents, the abuses and manipulations are very glaring. From Ebonyi state, which turned out to be a disaster, to Cross Rivers State to Ekiti, Kogi and several others it was the same story of shame.

CACOVID actually petitioned the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on the lapse in the state.

THEWILL condemns all these abuses, which are clearly a breach of the social contract and calls on CACOVID to take full actions against these malpractices by the erring states.

We find it disgusting that the Nigerian political class has remained the disaster it has always been despite the leadership that Corporate Nigeria is always providing in times of national emergencies.

Now, Nigerians can fully see who the real looters are and these rogue politicians and their cronies should be held responsible not only for continuously abusing their offices but also for bungling the goodwill and trust of kind-hearted Nigerians.

THEWILL, nonetheless, commends CACOVID for its efforts so far as we implore it not to be discouraged from its avowed commitment and resolve to helping the poor and vulnerable Nigerians survive these challenging times.