PALLIATIVE: Group Knocks Delta Governor Over Paltry Sharing Of Food Items

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

As videos and pictures of meager foodstuffs otherwise called paliative continue to rock the waves, a group known as Ijaw People's Development Initiative (IPDI), has accused Delta state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, of being insensitive to the plights of Deltans.

In a press release, IPDI, Acting Secretary, Comrade Emma Keneware, noted that inspite of the hunger and pains Deltans were plugged in by the lockdown order, all the government could show was "ingratitude".

"It is sad that Delta State Government is showing ingratitude to deltans despite the pains and hunger in the state, a situation where people don't go to work and do business for a whole month, and you are coming to share few cups of rice ,beans and garri to few Deltans which appears to be an insult on Deltans.

"It may interest His Excellency Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to know that less than 10percent of Delta State population got a cup of rice, beans or garri from the state government creek gift, called palliative".

The group described the situation Deltans are subjected to as "beggarly" and "destitutes", saying it is unacceptable by right thinking minds.

"We want to state that Deltans deserve a befitting treatment from Delta State government. A situation where Deltans are treated as beggars and destitutes, it is unacceptable. It is only irresponsible government that would treat her people ,the way Deltans have been treated in the face of this difficulty of covid-19 lockdown. This is a sign of ingratitude to Deltans and a slap on the faces of deltans. This evidence that there is no government in Delta State.

"It is disappointing that in the face of grievous lamentations of hunger and hardship, Delta State government shared cups of rice, beans and garri to few Deltans. This is a sign that Delta State government does not have the people at heart. It is shameful and disheartened. We are not convinced that the few foods shared were to cushion the pains of covid-19 lockdown as it was meant to insult Deltans.

"We want to believe that the few foods shared were from donors, and it was expected that the state government would argument to ensure that every deltan is given a share or a sense of belonging. His Excellency senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State should know that Deltans laboured hard to create comfort for him.

According to the release, "Deltans pay your bills, and ensure you live in free house, eat free food and drive free cars and get other free enssentials and necessities. Deltans deserved better treatments. We can borrow to build Government official houses. We borrow to pay Politicians salary but we can't borrow to maintain the welfare of the citizens or electorate in this auspicious times. It is really sad.

"We want to state unequivocally that deltans are disappointed over what was shared as palliatives by Delta State government. It is worrisome that Delta State government only shared foods from donors and bluntly refused to make committements to alleviate the suffering of deltans".

IPDI, frowned at what it described as shabby food distribution, stating that Deltans don't need such poorly shared food items at a time like this.

"The shabby distribution was for the fact that there was no proper data capturing. It is appalling that a whole state government shamelessly distributed between a cup and four to few deltans to cushion the effects of covid-19 lockdown for a whole month. Truely, we don't need your cup of rice and beans to survive as it cannot sustain us as Deltans.

"A ward was given 40 bags of rice and 20 bags of beans, and a ward has several voting units. Some political wards have 12 units, others have between 15, 17, 18, 20, 25 etc. Some units are between three hundred, five hundred, six hundred, eight hundred or one thousand voters.

"For example, a ward that has 20 voting units, with average of five hundred persons per unit, will sum up to Ten thousand, (10,000) voters. This should have been the arithmetic analysis that may have helped the state government for equitable distribution of food items in the state.

Giving further explanation, the group noted, "You may agree with us that sharing 40 bags of rice and 20 bags of beans in a ward of 10,000 registered voters is a great disservice. A bag of rice contains 12 baskets. A bag of beans contains 24baskets. If we multiple 40 bags of rice by 12, we will have four hundred and eighty baskets (480). It means at the estimate of one basket to an individual, 480 persons will benefit from the 40 bags of rice.

"If 20 bags of beans multiple by 24, we will have the same four hundred and eighty baskets (480), which means at the estimate of one basket to an individual, 480 persons will benefit from the 20 bags of beans. And in total, it is assumed that 960 persons will benefit from the 40 bags of rice and 20 bags of beans with the estimate of a basket to per person in the midst of 10,000 legible voters in a ward. In this case it was split to cups, making the process or exercise meaningless as no family could survive by a cup of rice or beans per day.

"This shows that every ward less than 10 pecent of the population benefited the few cups of rice, beans or garri sent to Deltans. Going by the above analysis, one will vividly say that less than 10% percent of Delta State population benefited the beggars gift of a cup of rice or beans from Delta State government.

"The sad part of it is that a basket to a person cannot sustain an individual for a month, now it is split to a cup, how does a cup of rice become meaningful in a family life. Can Okowa or his Political Appointees feed their families with a basket or a cup of rice or beans? And you give out few cups of beans or rice and you called it a palliative. It is too sad.

While expressing the pains of the group, it disclosed that someone was given a cup of rice and we called it a palliative, "how would a responsible government share a cup of rice for an individual to survive in a month longed lockdown?

"We are equally disgusted over the accolades following the sharing of a cup of rice and beans by Delta State government. It is a fact that politicians and community leaders celebrating this nonsense are suffering from the poverty of the mind and mental defunction.

"It is worrisome as no responsible government would disregard data analysis as such forms a better platform for even distribution of benefits to deltans.

IPDI, called on governor Okowa to treat Deltans as humans and with heart of gratitude based on the support given to him during his governorship elections in the state in a view of providing pallatives that would affect lives positively.