Lukmon Atobatele, the deputy minority leader in the Ogun State House of Assembly, has urged the executive branch of government to assist lawmakers in dispersing the palliatives they have gotten from the federal government.
As part of the steps made to mitigate the effects of the removal of fuel subsidies on the people of Ogun, it was earlier reported that the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, had confirmed the receipt of 30,000 bags of rice from the federal government.
Talabi also revealed that the federal government had given the state an undisclosed sum of money for the same objective.
Atobatele urged against politicization or monopolization of the distribution of food and money.
According to Atobatele, the state government should “involve the State Assembly in the sharing of the palliatives meant to mitigate the effect of the subsidy removal policy.”
The state government's acknowledgement of the consignments was praised by the deputy minority whip, who pointed out that “members of the assembly are closer to the people in their constituents, thus the need to carry them along.”
He said, “Though the SSG assured that the distribution would have nothing to do with political or religious affiliations, it becomes political if only the ruling party is made to decide solely, how to distribute the palliatives.”
The legislator said, “The Assembly should be involved in the distribution to ensure it gets directly to Ogun residents, whom the palliatives are meant for, and not members of the ruling party alone.”
Atobatele bemoaned the difficulty that the people are currently experiencing, stating that it is difficult for them to eat three square meals or to meet their basic needs.
“This is a trying time, and we must be committed and transparent to our people. This must not become a party affair.
“What happened during the COVID-19 period should not repeat itself. The names of committee members to decide the sharing of the palliatives must be in the open to know who is responsible,” he recommended.