There is jubilation in Cross River as the Government commenced the distribution of palliative to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu in May.
Speaking during the flagging off at the Management Development Institute, Mary Slessor, Calabar on Tuesday (Oct. 10), Governor Bassey Otu stated that the exercise has no political undertone.
Otu who was represented by Deputy Governor Peter Odey said he was confident of the palliative sharing committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Anthony Owan-Enoh to do the needful.
His words: “This distribution is not about the All Progressive Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Labour Party (LP) or any other political party but for the people of Cross River.
“Apart from adding N500 million to what we were given by the Federal Government, the government of the state has also added N10,000 to the salaries of all the civil servants which they have already started receiving from September.
“So, I appeal to everyone present in this distribution not to fight or struggle as every group has been captured and will get what is due them.”
The Governor also appealed to the groups to ensure that the palliatives collected get to their members in the rural areas adding that, they needed the palliatives more.
Similarly, Owan-Enoh said the palliative distribution would be based on equity and fairness, noting that it was why the distribution was done in the open.
He, however, added that only the Youth Council of Nigeria, Cross River chapter would receive their share of the palliative, which was 100 bags of rice in the symbolic flag off of palliative distribution in the state.
He said that other groups, need to go back to their offices and draw a structured plan of how their palliatives would be distributed from top to least persons in other Local Government Areas.
“For today, we will only give to the youth council of Nigeria, they have brought their colleagues from the 18 LGAs because we insisted they must do so.
“For other groups, the distribution won’t be done today, we will go back to our office and whatever group that gives us a structure of how they will share their palliative from top to bottom will be given a pass.
“That pass qualifies the group to approach the warehouse and we will monitor the distribution to the group in the presence of its members,” he said.
Appreciating the governor for the exercise, Mr Gregory Olayi, Cross River State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) appealed for equitable distribution of the palliatives in the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.