GOMBE- The Gombe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), on Monday said that the palliatives distributed by the state government were not based on political considerations.
Mr Abdullahi Abdullahi, the executive secretary of SEMA, who is also the chairman of the committee in charge of distribution of the palliatives, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe.
The SEMA boss was reacting to allegations that the palliatives were distributed based on political consideration, and that only members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state were given the palliatives.
Some residents told NAN that the palliatives were distributed by APC executives at the ward level to their members, hence members of other opposition parties were shut out from the distribution.
Hajia Halima Musa, a resident of Hayin Dogo in Nasarawo community, said APC executives in their ward anchored the distribution and only their members were considered, “which I feel is wrong.”
Musa said it was not only APC members that were affected by the fuel subsidy removal, hence queried why the palliatives would be given to them alone.
Ms Rebecca John from the same community as Musa alleged that prior to the distribution, APC members in their ward held series of meetings on how to carry out the exercise and “we have seen the result because only APC members were considered.”
John said she was aware that the state Gov. Inuwa Yahaya had directed that the palliatives be given to the most vulnerable, “so I wonder why they will not follow the governor’s directive.
“I know that the governor is passionate about the people but some of the people working at the grassroots don’t understand the need for inclusiveness, this is a major challenge.
“This one-sided distribution of palliatives must be addressed before they distribute the Federal Government’s palliatives else, it will create tension and widen the gap between the people and the government.”
Also, a member of the Labour Party (LP) in Billiri community, Billiri Local Government Area (LGA) who pleaded anonymity said in his community, majority of the beneficiaries were APC members, adding “the palliatives belong to the state and not a one-party affair.”
Responding, Abdullahi said that the palliatives were meant for Gombe people and not for members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and as such were distributed fairly to the most vulnerable in the state.
“It is not true that only APC members are the ones that benefitted from the palliatives that were shared across the state.
“The palliatives were meant for Gombe state people and since it is 10 persons per polling unit, it is clear that not everyone will get the palliatives.
“The beneficiaries were selected randomly from polling units so the issue of it is only APC members are not true.’’
According to him, we didn’t consider party in the distribution of palliatives and that is the fact.
He said that the most vulnerable persons in the polling units irrespective of party was the criteria used for distribution of the palliatives.
On allegations that APC executives anchored the distribution of the palliatives in some wards within Gombe LGA, Abdullahi said he was yet to get any complaints in that regard.
“Naturally, if somebody didn’t get something, he or she may feel somehow but ones the Federal Government’s palliatives come, it will certainly cover more since our target is 420, 000.”(NAN)