The All Progressives Congress (APC), Ebonyi chapter on Tuesday in Abakaliki listed conditions that must be fulfilled by the state government for the party to participate in the COVID-19 Ebonyi Palliatives Distributions Joint Committee.
Mr Eze Nwachukwu, state chairman of APC disclosed this in an interview with Summitnews correspondent
Recall that Ebonyi government recently inaugurated COVID-19 palliatives distribution joint committee comprising the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) existing political parties and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The committee was inaugurated to oversee the distribution of the relief materials released by FG and state government to ease the hardship occasioned by the lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to would-be beneciaries.
Nwachukwu said that the party received the invitation through a radio announcement in the state’s owned Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation (EBBC) on Friday, April 24.
He said that the party honoured the invitation after he consulted with stakeholders and attended the meeting presided by Mr Francis Nwifuru, Speaker of the Ebonyi House of Assembly and chairman COVID-19 Welfare and Fund Raising Sub-committee.
He said: “I heard a radio announcement in EBBC inviting me to a meeting at the House of Assembly on COVID-19 palliatives and after consultations with my members, it became imperative that we attend.
” I attended the meeting where-in they briefed us on the plans and arrangements for the palliative distribution.
“It was at the meeting that I got information that they are repackaging the rice meant for distribution to the people to bear Gov. Dave Umahi’s picture.
“I briefed my party members on this development and it was resolved that we should write to them officially informing them that both the President’s and governor’s pictures must be on the branded rice if there must be pictures at all.
“We also suggested in our letter that in the alternative that the rice should be left as they were when they were delivered to the state by federal government or let the inscription reads: ‘COVID-19 Palliatives’ courtesy of FG/Ebonyi government.
“We were resolute in our position that we, as a party will not to be part of the committee should Ebonyi government go ahead to brand the rice with only the governor’s picture.
“We, however agreed that political parties involved should raise one person each per polling unit which we have done, but yet to submit until they give us the reply of our letter to guide us in the direction to follow.
“So, we’ll wait for a reply of the letter which we delivered through speed post last Friday which we have evidence of delivery.
Gov Dave Umahi
“So, I’m waiting for them to serve us a reply; if they do, then we’ll look at the content of the reply and if it’s something that we will continue, we continue but if it’s not, we’ll tell the whole world that we are not part of the exercise and our reasons for doing so.”
Summitnews reports that the speaker recently announced that all arrangements have been concluded to commence distribution of the palliative items comprising food and condiments to Ebonyi residents.
The palliative items according to the speaker were donations from both the FG and state government which would be distributed to all residents across the 1785 polling units in Ebonyi irrespective of social and economic backgrounds.