OYO COVID-19 Palliative: Don’t Let Us Die Of Hunger — Oyo Residents Urges Makinde, Says ‘Poorest Of The Poor’ Approach Not The Best.


By Henry Odeh

Residents of Oyo state have raised an alarm over the Oyo state’s government ‘poorest of the poor’ approach to distributing palliative to the people, describing the approach as insensitive to the untold hardship Nigerians have been subjected to due to the lockdown in the state.

They (residents) said that the term ‘poorest of the poor was first introduced by the federal government for its distribution of the palliative which it promised Nigerians in a bid to cushion the effect of the lockdown which has since received several backlash and condemnation by Nigerians as most people continue to groan in hardship without any palliative.

Sunrisebulletin.com went into town within Ibadan metropolis, the capital city of Oyo state to hear the people’s views and expectations from the Oyo state government on the premise of its promise to distribute palliative to the people of the state.

Mr Lawal (not real name) is a father of one who has a mechanic workshop lives in a single room and parlour apartment with his wife and child, he explained that life has been tough beyond words could capture and urged the state government under the leadership of governor Seyi Makinde not to send the wrong signal to the people with his management of palliative distribution noting that approach may be counter productive if deployed.

“I like governor Makinde because he is a good man but you know that a hungry man is an angry man, when the he ordered a lockdown of businesses in the state did anybody say these ones are the rich, those ones are the poor, these ones are the poorest of the poor? so why will they now say something like that? Between that time we started sitting at home no work till now even if I had twenty thousand naira then consider me and my family, would it not have finished by now? So let nobody deceive anybody they know the right thing to do.” He concluded.

Mr Oladele who owns a small scale electronic shop in Ibadan appealed to governor Makinde not to turn deaf ears to the yearnings of residents in the state by denying many people access to the relief materials stressing that since everyone in the state was subjected to the same economic reality by the pandemic it behooves on government to make the palliative reach every household resident in the state.

He added that a person who may not be economically vulnerable a month ago may be badly hit by the lockdown and be very exposed to economic vulnerability within one month stressing that governor Makinde would have no justification to deny people access to the relief materials.

Ms Taiwo Adebola (not real name) is a single parent and a trader with three kids, she narrated her ordeal since the lockdown and described government approach to the people’s welfare since the stay at home order as wicked and uncharitable.

She lamented how she has been coping with raising three children alone with her trade adding that business was not bad since Makinde became the governor and started paying workers salaries promptly noting that the effect has been increase in circulation of money.

She however explained that due to the size of her business she might not have anything substantial in her bank account but has been able to perform her obligations as a mother to her children. She queried what the government implied by ‘poorest of the poor’ adding that it government was already overstretching patience of the masses which may not yield positive results.

Some others who spoke to Sunrisebulletin.com on condition of anonymity expressed lack of faith in governments (state and federal) management of the present situation in Oyo state and Nigeria with regards to people’s welfare.

From reactions of Nigerians especially residents in Oyo state, had to work or go to their various businesses on daily basis for survival, it was obvious that the situation was becoming very tensed and to think that there’s no definite end in sight to the lockdown makes it more worrisome.

Residents in Oyo state are therefore, calling on the executive governor of Oyo state, Engr Seyi Makinde, to deviate from the approach of the federal government in the distribution of palliative to Nigerians by reaching out to every household in the state to avoid unabated hike in crime which was already manifesting as well as casualties resulting from hunger.

Meanwhile Oyo state government palliative committee through the honorable commissioner for special duties, chief Bayo Lawal, has said that the state government may totally lockdown the state for a day or two to enable it carry out palliative distribution exercise in the state.

Chief Bayo Lawal made this known while featuring on a live program of an Ibadan based private radio station last weekend and stressed that the state government was ready to commence distribution of all relief materials received to the people.

It is believed and expected that Oyo state government’s approach to distributing relief materials to its residents would not be another bandwagon approach but a deliberate and concerted efforts tailored towards ameliorating the untold hardship imposed on the people as a result of lockdown resulting from outbreak of corona virus pandemic in the state so that the state is not combating COVID-19 pandemic and forgetting to deal with what most Nigerians now refer to as Hunger pandemic.

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