By Mumini AbdulKareem
Chairman, Kwara State Steering Committee on Palliatives and Emir of Shonga, Dr. Haliru Yahaya Ndanusa, has expressed the readiness of the state government to commence distribution of relief materials to serve as palliatives to cushion the effect of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Ndanusa stated this during a press briefing held on Wednesday.
The committee is an offshoot of the larger Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, and was mandated to draw up the modalities for and supervise the distribution of the palliatives from the government and well-meaning members of the society who have donated to the coronavirus cause.
Other members include CPS to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, former HOD of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, Dr Saudat Salah Abdulbaqi, and Lawal Olohungbebe.
Others are Kwara TUC chairman, Comrade Olumoh Kolawole, his National Union of Road Transport counterpart, Com Aliyu Issa Ore and CAN chairman, Kwara State, Prof Timothy Opoola
He said the measure is government’s way of showing good faith and affection to the people who have been asked to stay at home on safety grounds.
“The committee therefore urges the well-heeled in the society to help the needy at this time, and commends all those who have donated to the government or are supporting the poor in their own way.”
His words: “Because of limited resources, the committee has given priority at this time to limited categories of our people who it considers to be very poor and worst hit by the directive. They are; aged, physically challenged, women, widows and widowers who are sole breadwinners of their families, artisans who are dependent on daily earnings and any other category that the committee deems fit
“To enable seamless distribution and to ensure maximum coverage of the targeted beneficiaries, the distribution will be carried out at ward level. Accordingly, each of the 16 local government areas and 193 wards in the state are hereby required to set up an implementation committee respectively comprising a representative each of the following; the most senior traditional authority in the local government and ward, the most senior religious authority in the local government and ward two representatives of the community based organisations in the local government and in the ward.
“The committees at the local government areas are only to supervise and provide independent monitoring of what happens at the ward levels.
“The Ward Implementation Committees should, with immediate effect, draw up a list of beneficiaries that match the criteria stated above. Such list should reach the secretariat of the Committee on Palliatives on or before 12 noon on Friday 3rd April 2020. We believe that the necessary checks will be built into the exercise with the constitution of these committees even as the Palliatives committee will have overall coordination of the exercise.”
The first class traditional ruler further maintained that, “This ward-level distribution of the palliatives will be carried out in phases and the number of packages going to each ward shall be announced. The steering committee on palliatives shall duly announce dates for the distribution of items for each ward.
“We are projecting to start distribution from this weekend. It is expected that the DPM’s in all the Local Governments shall liaise with the Palliatives committee on the movement of the items to their respective Local Governments.
“I am to acknowledge that the Road Transport Workers Association and the National Union of Road Transport Workers have graciously volunteered to transport the food items free of charge. The committee again urges well-to-do in our society to please support this humanitarian campaign at all levels.
“This is purely about helping the poor in our society to cope with the situation at hand. The committee urges all of us to continue to sensitise our people on the danger of this deadly virus and to encourage everyone to stay at home and stay safe. Stay safe.”