Lockdown Extension: Create Feeding Centres, MURIC Tells Govts

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says the Federal, state and local government authorities should immediately create feeding centres so as to cushion the effect of the extension of COVID-19 lockdown.

MURIC said in a press statement issued by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Wednesday.

“Though the extension is our best option if we don’t want to see Nigerians dropping dead on the streets, the federal, state and local governments must change their method of distributing palliatives. The idea of sharing raw foodstuff is not working.

This method is being abused by corrupt officials. Much of the foodstuff is being diverted. It is not reaching the poor masses.

“Governments at all the three tiers must device means of making diversion of palliatives unwise, cumbersome, unprofitable and therefore unnecessary. This can be achieved by organizing central feeding points in all communities at the local, state and federal levels. The same foodstuffs that are being distributed can be opened up, cooked and served in take-away packages for distribution among hungry Nigerians.

“It will be unthinkable for corrupt officials to divert up to a quarter of cooked food without making a mess of their own houses, stores and offices. They will have no option than to distribute the take-away packages as arranged.

“Neither should distribution be a problem. Why is it easy for the electricity companies to reach every nook and cranny in the communities to distribute bills and collect money from poor Nigerians but difficult to locate the same poor people when distributing palliatives? Why is it possible for politicians to knock on every door on the street when soliciting for votes but impossible for the same politicians to share food to hungry people on the same street?

“Politicians should stop deceiving poor Nigerians. Most senators and members of the House of Representatives are yet to visit their constituencies during this COVID-19 saga. They are yet to sympathise with their constituents and ask what they need and how they are coping.