The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Adamawa Government are trading words over alleged diversion of 50 trucks of rice and other palliative materials meant for needy persons in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government had donated the relief materials for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state to cushion the effect of COVID-19 lockdown.
NAN reports that the drama started when Alhaji Umar Duhu, the former National Vice President of APC, Northeast Zone, accused the state ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of allegedly diverting 50 trucks for political purpose.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Yola, Duhu challenged the Adamawa State Government to account for the materials.
He alleged that the relief materials were shared among the top government and state PDP officials as COVID-19 lockdown palliative.
According to the former vice chairman, he personally wrote a petition to the National Assembly and Chairman Presidential Task Force to investigate the matter.
“Just few weeks ago, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development was in Yola, where she donated about 50 Trucks of relief materials, particularly to take care of less privileged affected by insurgency.
“The State Government received and stored the items and when people start crying of COVID-19 lockdown hardship, they went and took parts of the federal government consignment meant for the IDPs and distributed it as palliative.
“What pains me is the way the distribution was lopsided; those that federal government targeted for the intervention had not received anything,” Duhu alleged.
He also alleged that the distribution favoured only PDP supporters across the 21 local government areas of the state.
Besides, Duhu alleged that no fewer than four trucks of the IDPs intervention rice was given to the state PDP executives and one truck to the wife of the governor.
However, in their separate reactions, the Principal Aide to Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, Mr Babayola Toungo, and Mr Sunday Wigura, dismissed the allegations, describing it as “baseless”.
Toungo, who is the Principal Special Assistant on Media to the governor, told newsmen that the Adamawa government had not received any dime from the federal government as COVID- 19 lockdown palliative.
“The Adamawa Government is distributing rice and other foodstuff to the poor in the state and this is done from the meagre resources of the state and not from any federal largesse.
“I know there is a move by the federal government through NEMA to distribute relief materials to the states to cushion the effect of COVID-19 lockdown,” Toungo said.
Similarly, Wugira, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Public Affairs, explained to journalists that the purported 50 trucks of relief materials donated to the state government was absolutely false and a distraction.
“As far as I know, the state government didn’t receive a single kobo or particle of grain from Federal Government as palliative.
“And we are giving him (Umar Duhu) seven days ultimatum to retract his statement and libelous petition against the state government and tender apology letter, otherwise we are going to take a fundamental step to set an example,” Wugira threatened.
He equally explained that the rice shared by the state government as palliative was from the state government coffers.
On the alleged missing N500 million earmarked by the state government as palliative, he said the amount was credited to a committee for use on the basis of need to assist the poor across the state.
But on his part, Mr Solomon Kumangar, the Director General, Media and Publicity to the governor, confirmed during a distribution exercise that the palliative doled out by the state government was part of federal government intervention to the state.
Kumangar further explained that the state government would later spend part of the N500 million earlier earmarked for palliative to replace the federal government intervention materials used by the state government as COVID- 19 welfare package.