The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Covid-19 situation room in Rivers State has expressed dismay on the exclusion of Niger Delta and South-South states in the disbursement of funds.
The group in a press briefing Today in Port Harcourt accused Federal Government of bias and nepotism in distribuction of the palliatives, including cash transfers. The group decried selective distribuction of test kits, building of isolation centres, interventions funds, and sharing of relief materials by the Federal Government.
The Civil Society group explained that the Federal Government seems to be insensitive to the needs of Niger Delta states that have enforced physical and social distancing restriction to the detriments of livelihoods.
The group pointed out that while there are reports of twenty-thousand naira given to residents of states that have not implemented strict social restrictions, the residents of Niger Delta have been excluded by Federal Government . The group regretted that Rivers State has not received any kind of support from the Federal Government to tackle socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 pandemic despite the efforts made by the state to contain the spread of the virus and the attendant disruptions to local livelihoods.
The Covid-19 Situation room said the total neglect and marginalization of Rivers state from the Federal Government palliatives and relief packages,despite the bulk of petroleum tapped from the state,questions the capacity of FG to protect all citizens of the country in the face of Covid-19 .
The group added that if the country must make significant progress in the fight against the pandemic, the country must remain united and any that will divide the country at this trying time must be avoided.
The group advised the Federal Government not to politicize palliatives and funds distribuction as doing so will send wrong signal .
Our correspondent reports that Stevyn Obodoekwe, Sebastian Kpalap Co-Chairman respectively, Karl Chinedu Uchegbu, spokesperson, Green Isaac, Prince Ekpere Co-Secretary respectively, were all in attendance.