Iba Gani Adams the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land has said that federal and state governments should address issues relating to palliatives for the vulnerable in the society, to avoid chaos and achieve the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Adams maintained that 75 percent of Nigerians earn daily wages and government would not achieve meaningful result of containing the pandemic if Nigerians who are on lockdown, are not provided with economic stimulus. He stressed that if government paid civil servants who are less than five percent of the country’s total population, what about those in private sector.
The leader of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) faulted the minister of Humanitarian Affairs for saying that those Nigerians with up to 5,000 naira in their accounts would not benefit from any financial support by federal government. He pointed out that criminality which had been on the rise could be associated with the lockdown and inability of government to extend any support, in food and money
“Experts from the banking sector have told us that 40,000 million Nigerians have Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs). Federal government should utilize the BVN to send money to Nigerians. I want to use this opportunity to plead with President Muhammadu Buhari, as the father of the nation, to act now, in the best interest of the people.”
“I saw information in the news that federal government was sharing money to geo-political regions and I was shocked that South/South, the region that provides most of the nation’s resources received N10 billion while some other regions in the North got as much as N45 billion. Government should use state and government agencies to provide food for local government for those of them who don’t have bank accounts. Where there is no palliative, social and physical distancing would be defeated” he said.
Adams maintained that other nations planned for their countries during the pandemic. He said that France gave 400 euro to each citizen, and even Greece that was in recession gave 400 euro to each of its citizens.
The Yoruba leader said that government could afford to give N30,000 to vulnerable Nigerians monthly, stressing that one could not afford o lock up children, stressing that they would find a way to get out to the street if food was not provided for them.
While commending Lagos State and a few other States that had done relatively well in managing the fatality rate, he however warned that if the situation in Nigeria was not properly managed, he was foreseeing crisis. He said that even the increasing insecurity could be traced to lockdown without palliatives.