The Network of Civil Society Organizations of Nigeria, NOCSON, has called for the arrest and prosecution of persons linked to diversion of relief items met for vulnerable people in Edo State.
The Organization regretted however that despite its earlier call on the State government to exempt politicians and their cronies from the distribution of relief materials, yet, some politicians threw caution to the wind, and diverted the relief materials particularly in Oredo and Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Areas of the State.
The Secretary-General of NOCSON, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbidi and Comrade Maxwell Iyamu, lauded the efforts of the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki for providing relief to cushion the hardship caused by Covid-19 lockdown, but faulted the method of distribution of the items which ought to be for the downtrodden.
Iyamu said: “We urge the Governor to fish out those officials and bring them to book without delay and justice be served within 48 hours, otherwise; we will start mentioning names and videos that will damage the credibility of the whole exercise.
“Three vehicles loaded with relief package went to the APC Women leader’s house to offload the relief packages in contrast to the previous assurances that was given to Mr Eric Osayande that the distribution exercise will not be hijacked by politicians”, according to Iyamu.
According to Ogbidi, “we systematically followed three vehicles who carried the the relief materials from Idogbo; headquarters of Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area to Ward 04 of the Council.
“The action was outrightly against the directive of the Chairman of the Council, Dr. Eric Osayande who had earlier told us that the materials were going to the Odionwere’s residence for onward distribution to the poor and vulnerable, Ogbidi stated.
In a remark, the Public Relations Officer of the NOCSON, Comrade Bevy Efe, denounced the culture of secrecy that marred the distribution of relief materials which was kept at the Skill acquisition on Sapele road in Benin City.
He wondered why the Chairman of Oredo Local Government Area, Jenkins Osunde, bend backward to satisfy the cravings of a few greedy party loyalists who hijack the process, thereby denying the downtrodden which the food was originally met for access to the items which were bought with tax-payers money.
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