By Auta Obadiah Dauda
A Civil Society Organization (CSO), Say No Campaign, an organization monitoring the COVID-19 palliatives distribution exercise in Bwari Area Council of Abuja says the process fell below standard.
A statement by the Co-convener, Ezenwa Nwagwu, the group said their monitors observed keenly the purported distribution exercise carried out by the Bwari Area council and are concerned that little or no progress has been made to achieve transparency and accountability throughout the distribution processes.
According to the NGO, “this aggravated the tension experienced in some parts of the area council, especially in Kubwa and Byazhin.
The monitors reported that, “unrest marred the distribution exercise in Kubwa ward, whereby officials ran off and community members made away with items.
Also, in Byazhin,” “distribution was suspended and items were returned to the area council Secretariat till further notice.
“Security men, distribution officials, as well as, community members were attacked and sustained injuries in the cause of the altercation.
Say no Campaign maintains that, “the embarrassing situation could have been avoided had there been a clear modality for distribution, and transparency in the process as well as effective communication by the area council Leadership.
It says reports they gathered indicated that “community members were largely unaware of the modalities for distribution.
According to the body, “the so-called house-to-house distribution was not sustained and distribution officials gathered community members in open fields to randomly distribute the items.
“The expectations of community members were further bashed when they realized that the quantity of materials earmarked for distribution in one community was not just far below the numbers of expectant households in the community, but also the items were reduced.
Say No Campaign also wonders why community members were barred from taking shots or video covering the distribution process carried out.
Allegations of security men snatching/destroying mobile phones of persons caught making videos, as well as, detention of community members who took pictures of the fight between officials and community members abound.
“It is sad that the performance of the FCTA in distributing palliatives around the FCT area councils has continued to dwindle from the commendable exercise in Abaji.
The group therefore calls on the leadership of the FCTA, area council officials and security operatives to wake up from its in effectiveness.