Jan 22,2024.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
A civil society organisation (CSO), Centre for Human Rights and Accountability Network (CHRAN), has threatened to recover the federal government palliative rice from some National Assembly lawmakers from Akwa Ibom State.
It, however, lauded the member representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency of the state, Mr Unyime Idem, for displaying accountable leadership to his constituents.
The group warned that unless other NASS members take a cue from Idem, they would be exposed.
The state director of CHRAN, Otuekong Franklin Isong, told LEADERSHIP in Uyo, the state capital at the weekend that the lawmaker being the first in the state to disburse the rice deserves commendation.
Ison said the rice were given by President Bola Tinubu to federal legislators for onward distribution as palliatives to their constituents during the Yuletide.
Isong noted that, “it was salubrious that Idem’s gesture to his constituents in the Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency came in the midst of refutations on the issue by his colleagues of Akwa Ibom extraction in the National Assembly.”
He vowed that CHRAN, as a people-oriented organisation, would track the presidential rice from other lawmakers, who diverted the commodity to political cronies.
“The same way CHRAN monitored the exercise, which took place on Thursday, 18 January 2024 at the Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Empowerment Centre, at 3, Barracks Road, beside Divisional Police Station, Ukanafun Local Government Area, and certified that it was peaceful and successful, we will also do same and expose others who see it as a political tool to empower their supporters instead of the very poor,” he stressed.
He recalled that “the rice, packed in bags, were offloaded from three trailers and distributed to constituents within the 24 INEC-recognised wards across the Federal Constituency, including traditional rulers, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and other groups in the area.”
He, therefore, urged all the National Assembly members from the state to borrow a leaf from Idem by being transparent and accountable to their constituents.
He said, “It was sanguine that the President Tinubu palliative rice had been received by all the National Assembly members on behalf of their constituents, and so we urge them to distribute same to their constituents without further delay, because CHRAN will soon name and shame any National Assembly member who has not distributed the palliative rice to their constituents.
“The CHRAN has reliable information to the effect that food palliatives worth N57.8 billion had been approved for members of the National Assembly by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for onward distribution to their constituents and that same had been released and shared to all National Assembly members.
“Also, CHRAN has been reliably informed that N200 million worth of rice were given, as palliatives for constituents, to Senators, while N100 million worth of rice were given, as palliatives for constituents, to members of the House of Representatives.
“It would be recalled that the Presidency, while showcasing Tinubu’s scorecard in palliatives disbursement to Nigerians, had revealed that each Senator got N200 million worth of palliatives for their constituents while each member of the House of Representatives received N100 million worth of palliatives for their constituents.”(www.naija247news.com)