Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, Executive Director of CISLAC
Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, Executive Director of CISLAC

It’s scandalous for FG, States not to distribute COVID palliatives – CISLAC

NEWS DIGEST – The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) says it is scandalous that materials donated by groups of well-meaning Nigerian businesspersons, corporate entities, development partners and others, under the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) were left undistributed by the federal, state and local governments.

In some cases, these items, according to Comrade Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, CISLAC Executive Director, got expired, while others got rotten and thereby not fit for consumption.

“In an attempt by the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to clarify why some items were not distributed, they made spurious, baseless and unjustifiable statement that the palliatives which were discovered in some states were mischievous stories by the populace. We, however, are forced to wonder why it took this long to distribute essential goods that was meant to alleviate the hardship faced during the lockdown period (April-June, 2020),” he said.

Rafsanjani, in a statement on Tuesday, maintained that “this condemnable act is a clear abuse of entrusted power for personal gain.”

He said that since the start of the pandemic, CISLAC has been in the forefront demanding for transparency and accountability in the distribution of the palliatives in the context of the devastating economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Part of the demands by CISLAC was the involvement of stakeholders – both state and non-state actors – which would have included genuine CSOs, community-based organisations, religious institutions and anti-corruption agencies that would have forestalled the current crisis faced by the country emanating from the undistributed palliatives,” he added.

Rafsanjani, urged states that are yet to distribute their palliatives to emulate the few states that have distributed essential goods to the citizens judiciously.