COVID-19: NGO tasks political officer holders on providing palliatives to constituents

A NGO, the Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Advocacy (LEAD) Network, has charged political officer holders on the need to provide palliatives for their constituents to mitigate against the hardship of lockdown necessitated by coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal Government  on Sunday announced the official lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); while other states in the federation had already lockdown or about to do it on or before April 1.

The Executive Director of LEAD Network, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, gave the charge while speaking with newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday on the shared responsibility and sacrifice leaders must bear to effectively checkmate the spread of coronavirus in the nation.

Okenwa noted that all political office holders must stand-up and take responsibility of the welfare and well-being of their people during this trying period.

According to him, a councillor, chairman, state assembly member, federal lawmaker should never wait for the federal government, by extension President Muhammadu Buhari, to come and provide basic necessities for his/her locals and electorates.

“Our political office holders must rise up to the sudden challenge and take responsibility of their constituents, which will restore the hope Nigerians have in leadership and country’s political polity.

“Even as we laud the federal lawmakers for making available 50 per cent of their monthly salary to the central donor fund for the fight of coronavirus, I still believe that they should look home and directly sort out the hardship facing their constituents,’’ he said.

Okenwa lauded the federal and state governments for their decision in the establishment  of isolation centres, putting social restrictions, equipping health personnel and facilities to be able to battle the virus.

“LEAD Network commends President Buhari for palliatives he had put in place for poorest of the poor and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as well as giving three months extra monitorial period for all Federal Government agencies and institutions loans,’’ he said.

The executive director, however, urged governments at all levels to put more efforts to check the spread of the coronavirus pandemic by building more tests centres throughout the 36 states and the FCT.

“I will commend Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for building two test centres for the virus and this move is worthy of emulation by other state governors to quickly deal with the virus and check its spread,’’ he said.

Okenwa noted that since coronavirus was coming with health and economic emergencies; it must be tackled and eradicated tactically for the nation and her people to be free and recover from present losses. 

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