Nigerians have taken to their fate on the kind of leaders they have as often times its more of a selection or imposition on them rather than election as the case supposed, but it is more worrisome and seem as an act of callousness on the so called leaders to further flatten on the intelligence of the electorates at a time when the entire world is panting over the ravishing of Covid-19 pandemic with desperate actions taken by government with a bid to contain its spread.
Nigeria is not left out of this as it represents part of the globe and its government equally has joined others in taken such measures of safeguarding its citizenry from the pandemic despite exposing them to another and a more severe one “hunger-virus” for its failure of an adhoc measures to cushion the harsh effects of its actions, but thanks to good Samaritans [Nigerians] who in their number have been doing the best possible to bridge the lacuna with various largesse in the form of palliatives to fellow brethren.
The political space also has not been left idle as both the elected and electorates see the opportunity as a period; for the former to reach out while the later anticipate supports in the form of palliative measures on their own volitions. To a great extent many have reciprocated to the applause of their constituents, but for Alimosho LGA not much has been seen, which prompted a press release from a non-governmental Organisation [NGO] Alimosho Youth Development Association of Nigeria [AYDAN] charging its political leaders to rise to the occasion of supporting its residents last week.
Earlier this week, the news of a donation of N50M [Fifty Million Naira only] by the Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District Senator Olamilekan Solomon Adeola aka Yayi rented the air waves as it seems that succor is finally on its way. With Alimosho as an integral part of Lagos West, constituents started demanding for their piece of the cake; however it was not forthcoming rather earlier in the week the social media was agog with a story titled “SenatorO lamilekan In N50 Million COVID-19 Lockdown Gifts Mess” which read in parts:
“The purported N50 million Naira cash gift by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola to people of his Lagos West Senatorial District has turned out to be a fraud after all.
Investigations carried out by our team revealed that though money was shared among the twenty eight local governments constituting his senatorial district, the amount was a far cry from the N50 million said to have been expended by the Senator.
The purported N50 million naira, if divided by the 28 local councils in his district ought to be N1.7 million naira per local government, divide this by seven which is an average number of wards in each local government and you get N255,000 per ward.
Another Chairman, pleading anonymity, claimed that Senator Yayi has always been fraudulent in his dealings. “If you may recall, Yayi claimed that he is from Ishaga Orile, but the indigenous Ishaga people disowned him, he later claimed Ilaro and has now built a house in Abeokuta. Very soon, he’ll claim he’s from there as well.”
Along the same vein, party faithfuls who claimed to have worked for the Senator claimed that he is evasive and too cunning for them. “Can you believe that the Senator has over ten telephone lines. Call him on any of them and you won’t get him no matter how many times you try. Not only that, he is fond of failing in his promises. Ask any leader in his senatorial district, they’ll tell you the type of person he is,” one claimed.”
As the claims and counter claims continued we [The Alimosho Mail] on a quest of unravelling the saga reached out to media officer to the Senator, Mr. Kayode Odunaro who confirmed to us that the amount in question was released and his office has evidences of photographs on its distribution; his response reads also in parts:
“The attention of Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) and chairman Senate Committee on Finance has been drawn to stories on some blogs and social media of purported fraud allegation on the disbursement of his N50million donation as palliative for poor and vulnerable persons, families and groups during the COVID-19 lockdown in Lagos West
The Senator who said he will not be dragged into the blatant falsehood contained in the sponsored write-ups, regrets the shameful attempt to politicize the issue of palliatives during a preventive lockdown for the containment of the global pandemic that is ravaging humanity on the altar of local petty politics stressing that the identity of the brain behind the campaign of calumny and his fraudulent antecedents are known as no amount of subterfuge by his minions and faceless group can wipe the trail of their huge financial inducement for the hatchet write ups publication.
“For the records my donation was not a political campaign gambit as there is no election anytime soon and neither is it a reward for party members or voters in the largest senatorial district of some 12 million people. It is a relief package targeted mostly at the poor and vulnerable individuals, families and groups for sustenance during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. I decided on cash donation in cognizance of the precautionary measures for the containment of the pandemic and for beneficiaries to address their specific needs on their own during the lockdown. And from the pictorial and video evidences I am seeing on the social media I am satisfy that the palliative is achieving its goal on targeted persons, families and group without any controversy” he stated.
Senator Adeola said the ongoing disbursement which enters its 5th day is being implemented by a 6 –member Committee in each of the 10 LGAs and 18 LCDAs of Lagos West with replication at the ward levels adding that beneficiaries cut across individuals, families and groups like market women associations and League of Imams with sums ranging from #2,500 for individuals and graduated upward from #5000 to #250,000 for families and groups based on need”.
From the two parties; it’s obvious that money was released but the question now is to who, how was it distributed and who are those in the photographs? These are question the benevolent should find out answers to, and save his name from this mess. Our efforts to confirm the distribution through the supposedly fourth tier of government the Community Development Community [CDC] and Community Development Associations [CDAs] they all denied receiving such a largesse as one of them jocularly said “na audio money”, also one of the Igbo coordinators for the Senator confirmed that he has received countless calls from members demanding for their share but to his amazement, he is yet to get any information on the palliative.
Last week the Lagos state government had embarked on the distribution of emergency food response which was seemingly hijacked by party leaders, could that be the case with Yayi’s N50M?