Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Government of Bayelsa State said on Monday that it has distributed food and other relief items it had received as donations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
It also explained that the government was not hoarding food items in any warehouse in the State.
The Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Mr Ayibaina Duba, who made the statement, said the clarification became necessary to ease the tension arising from attacks on warehouses containing COVID-19 palliatives and other items by hoodlums in some other states.
He said the State has been commendably peaceful but that it was necessary to dispel misinformation from those with motives to foment trouble.
The Information Commissioner said so far, the state government had distributed food and other items four times to Bayelsans across the eight local government areas as COVID-19 palliatives between April and July this year.
‘As a government, we commend the youths of Bayelsa for their peaceful disposition and their statesmanship in ensuring that the state is calm and rid of criminality,’ he said.
‘I recall that about two weeks ago during the #EndSARS protests, Governor Douye Diri addressed the protesters at the Government House and marched peacefully with them to the headquarters of the state police command. The governor thereafter quickly acted on their demands by setting up two panels to address their concerns. Members of the #EndSARS campaign and the civil society are in these panels.’
He added that the government will continue to encourage and support the youths of the state to achieve their real potential through entrepreneurship, agriculture and skill acquisition.
Giving a breakdown of the donors, the items received and the distribution to the different local government areas, Duba said the state government purchased and distributed 14,500 cartons of noodles, 14,657 10kg bags of beans and 6,105 10kg bags of garri.
Other donors of food items, soft drinks and water were the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, CA-COVID Foundation, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Foundation, Ecobank, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company and the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The list also includes 1,800 bags of rice from the Federal Government, 7-Up Bottling Company, International Breweries Limited, Crunchies Fast Food Limited, Mee ‘N’ Kee Global Resources as well as Multi-Pro Limited.
He further stated that beneficiaries of the items are in the eight councils across the state as well as non-indigenes, youth corps members and the Bakassi internally displaced persons in the state.
Others are the physically challenged, motherless babies’ homes, persons displaced by the Nembe community crisis and members of the Bayelsa Impact Group.