Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to probe and prosecute governors and government ministries and agencies hoarding COVID-19 palliatives meant for Nigerians.
Frank who made this call in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday averred that both the federal and state governments should be blamed for deliberately keeping away what rightly belong to the people.
He further called on the two anti-graft agencies to urgently commence the investigation of the state governors and heads of federal and state ministries and parastatals involved in hoarding the palliatives with a view to bringing them to face the wrath of the law.
Frank also stated that apart from the investigation by EFCC and ICPC President Muhammadu Buhari needs to set up a presidential panel of enquiry to probe the governors and the federal government agencies responsible for this heinous and careless act and anyone found culpable must face the full wrath of the law unlike previous lip service enquiry reports that were swept under the carpet.
He called on President Buhari to without further delay share all the funds donated to the Federal Government as COVID-19 support to poor and vulnerable persons in the country.
His words: “We demand that all monies received by the Federal Government as support from international agencies, local businesses and philanthropists should immediately be distributed among vulnerable Nigerians who need to survive the current hardship in the country.”
According to him, videos on social media showing thousands of Nigerians besieging government warehouses and forcefully helping themselves with such food items underscore the level of hunger and deprivation in the land.
He warned governors and Federal Government agencies who still have such food items locked up in their warehouses to immediately release them for distribution to the hungry masses or face the wrath of the people.
Frank in the release further said: “Why should Government continue to warehouse food items donated to it while the people are hungry? Did they forget the saying that a hungry man is an angry man?
“The action of government in keeping food items meant to cushion the effects of the ongoing pandemic among the poor and vulnerable, I dare say, speaks of their callousness, insensitivity, wickedness and man’s inhumanity to man.
“Government should not forget that most Nigerians lost their jobs and other sources of livelihood as a result of the pandemic.
“Must they be reminded that Nigerians are dying silently under the yoke of bad government policies, corruption and the greed of those that are today in position of authority?
“Where they by any chance keeping the food items for the 2023 campaigns as some state governors did in the past with relief materials meant for flood victims?
“Again, it must be noted that the sheer multitude of persons seen around government warehouses in the past few days show that the Buhari’s administration has driven over 100 million Nigerians into poverty rather than fulfilling its mantra of taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty”.