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Katsina Residents Accuse Government of Distributing Rotten Grains As Palliatives

The government however denied that the rotten grains were from them.

Confusion and anxiety is trailing the Katsina State Government’s palliatives package to vulnerable persons across the 34 local government areas of the state, as the residents have complained of the state of the food, and the lack of the food distributed to them.

The state government, last week, commenced the distribution of palliative packages to the needy in order to cushion the impact of the fuel subsidy removal.

While some beneficiaries who spoke with THISDAY, on Tuesday, decried the inadequacy of the maize and rice distributed, others said the free grains were decayed to the extent that even animals would not be fed with.

Also, some residents who are not members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), lamented the hijack and their exclusion from the whole distribution process, while others feigned ignorance of the exercise.

One of the beneficiaries from Jibia, Abdu Kabir, expressed displeasure over the decaying nature of the maize and what he termed insignificant quantity he received from the state government.

He said, “We received five cups of rotted maize from one bag allocated to people along 15 streets in Jibia town. We want the government to challenge us if they give us more than five measures contained in this bag.

“As we speak, the maize is here but we cannot use it because it is completely rotten and full of fungi and insects. We are ready to return the grain to them because it is of no use.”

Another resident from Katsina town, Ibrahim Shehu, claimed that the palliatives were hijacked and distributed among politicians and their relatives in the local government.

He said: “The palliatives were hijacked and diverted by politicians and shared among APC members. It is only APC members that benefited from the rice and maize distributed by the state government.”

A resident of Nahuta Village in Batsari local government, Abubakar Saminu, told THISDAY in a telephone interview, that: “We have not received anything from the government. We are not even aware of the distribution.”

However, the state Chairman of ALGON, Hon. Bello Lawal-Yandaki, who addressed journalists on the issues raised by the beneficiaries, said the rotten grains in circulation were not from the state government.

He explained that the state government in collaboration with the 34 local government councils purchased 36,100 bags of quality maize and rice, using their monthly allocations from the federation account.

Lawal-Yandaki, who is also the chairman of Kaita local government, said the palliatives were distributed to citizens across the 361 wards of the state irrespective of their political and tribal differences.

He said: “We verified an online report insinuating that the grains purchased by the state and local governments are not good, but we discovered that it’s a different grain being distributed by some groups which I am not privy to.

“From what is obtainable across the 34 local government areas of the state is what we did. The government has done a meticulous job in making sure they purchase grains of high quality and distributed to citizens.”

Lawal-Yandaki, who is also the chairman of Kaita local government, assured that more palliative packages by the state government were on the pipeline to mitigate the economic hardship faced by the citizens.

Francis Sardauna in Katsina 

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