The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Ondo State has expressed its displeasure with the way and manner, the Ondo State Government is going about the distribution of palliatives in the State.
“The process seems to be shrouded in secrecy and uncertainty,” the group said.
The group made the displeasure after an emergency extraordinary meeting held on September 11, 2023, on the palliative distribution in the office of the Chairman, coalition of Civil Society in Akure.
The CSOs in a joint statement whose lead signatory was Franklin Oloniju, further noticed that partiality and rent-seeking attitude pervades the entire process.
“We are shocked that the absence of the Executive Governor who was on medical leave, showed that the people he left were unable to effectively manage the process of the palliative distribution in a transparent and inclusive manner.
“However, we are happy that with the Governor’s return, he will bring saneness back into the process immediately.
“It is instructive to note that Ondo State Government initiated different groups and committees on the palliative issue in the state. One group was led by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Gbenga Ale and another group led by Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa promised the people of Ondo State that they would start receiving palliative as from the first week of September 2023.
“Also, on the 5th of September, another group was inaugurated by the Acting Governor to manage the palliative up to the Local Government Level in a bid to ensure equitable distribution, however, none of the groups mentioned has shown any appreciable headway in the palliative distribution to date,” the CSOs noted.
The Coalition further implored the Government of Ondo State to be transparent and accountable to the people of the state in this regard, as we are yet to know how the list of beneficiaries was generated, the amount to be paid as well as the commodities received from Federal Government for the people of the state.
“CSO Coalition which also has spread across the 18 LGA in the state seem to be in the dark on this palliative distribution as was the case during the COVID-19 palliative distribution. We ask for inclusion, equity and fair play in the interest of the poor masses who are languishing in abject poverty owing to the effect of subsidy removal. We therefore appeal to our indefatigable Governor to step into this issue, our earnest prayer is that our amiable Governor enjoys long life in good health.
“We hope these government officials have not forgotten the impact of the EndSARS protest in the State during which time the storehouse for COVID-19 palliative was broken into and items stored, looted by angry youths. We do not want a repeat of that incident.”
High Chief Pius Akomolafe