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Ramadan: Niger Residents Allege Hijacking of Govt. Palliatives

Residents of Chanchaga Local Government Area in Niger State have raised concerns about the alleged diversion of palliatives procured for them by the state government.

Many residents reported that, despite the state government’s directive to distribute grains, they have not yet seen any distribution in their areas, four days after the process was supposed to start.

The Niger State Government, through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Binta Mamman, had announced on March 15, 2024, that assorted grains worth billions of naira were procured for distribution to all 25 LGAs. This distribution was intended for internally displaced persons, emirate councils, religious leaders, security agencies, and political parties, among others. Ramadan feeding centers were set up in all eight emirate councils, with emirs acting as coordinators.

Mamman further declared a five-day public holiday from March 18 to 22 for the palliative distribution across the state. The distribution plan included various quantities of rice, maize, millet, sorghum, and beans allocated to each LGA.

However, residents of Chanchaga LGA expressed frustration, stating that the distribution team had not appeared as expected. They voiced suspicions that the palliatives might have been diverted by officials and politicians, as had allegedly occurred the previous year.

“We only have tomorrow, Friday, as the last day of the five-day public holiday for the distribution of the grains. When will the grains come?” residents questioned.

Musa Kanko from Tunga in Minna shared concerns about the government-purchased grains, questioning their whereabouts if not distributed to the people.

Halima Abdullahi and Comfort Musa, both housewives, criticized politicians for what they perceived as a lack of transparency in the distribution process.

Meanwhile, legislators from Mokwa LGA expressed dissatisfaction with the handling of the state government’s special Ramadan feeding program in their council. They claimed that village heads were controlling the feeding scheme, excluding the legislators and the council chairman from the arrangement.

Abubakar Isah, the House Leader of the Council, highlighted the deviation from standard practice in other councils and called for urgent intervention from the Niger State Government to rectify the situation.

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