Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has commenced the distribution of CACOVID palliatives to some loyalists of his political party as Christmas gifts.
CACOVID means Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19, which was created to support the Nigerian government’s efforts in the fight against coronavirus. The coalition bought and gave state governments palliatives to be distributed to Nigerians to ease the suffering occasioned by the lockdown caused by the pandemic.
In some viral videos on social media, some government agents were seen distributing CACOVID materials to some residents as Christmas gifts. The materials had CACOVID boldly written on them.
Following the development, some people have been condemning the state government on social media for waiting till Christmas season to distribute the materials.
On Facebook, Abiola Yusuff wrote; “This is a shame on all of you defending this. Xmas gift or palliatives from CACOVID foundation? Why did Oyo State keep it from July till date?”
Similarly, Ola Ade wrote, “What is written on the bag is CACOVID not CAXMAS.” Okunade Kehinde wrote, “Confused government,” while Salami Abiodun wrote, “They have a problem.”
The state government distributed some palliatives during the lockdown, and through its Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Bayo Lawal, it denied that a store where some goods were looted by hoodlums was a warehouse where the state kept palliatives.
Some hoodlums had attacked a private warehouse in Ibadan, carting away bags of rice believed to have been hoarded by the government.
Lawal, who doubles as Chairman, Food Security and Palliative Committee of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, said the state was not supplied rice as part of the palliatives from CACOVID and that it did not, at any time, distribute rice as part of palliatives to the people.
He said, “Investigations revealed that there was nothing that concerned the Oyo State government in that warehouse. The warehouse belongs to a private individual who operates in Oyo State and was given a valid contract by the Coalition Against COVID-19, a coalition of private organisations that have been helping states and the Federal Government to fight COVID-19.
“So, it was the rice that he procured on his own for repackaging that was mistaken to be Oyo State’s, that hoodlums looted.”
The Commissioner stated that the state government could not hoard what it did not have, explaining that CACOVID supported the state with cash, medical items and food items, including noodles and Spaghetti.