Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Gombe, Jigawa set up palliative committees to avert stampede

The Gombe and Jigawa state governments have constituted committees to guard against stampede in the palliative distribution exercise.

The committees are designed to decentralised distribution and guard against diversion of the commodities as well as protect lives and property during the exercise.

Officials of the humanitarian and social welfare agencies in the states, stated this while responding to a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on palliative distribution in Bauchi, Dutse and Gombe.

The development came against the back drop of stampede during palliative distribution exercises resulting to the loss of lives and property in parts of the country.

Authorities in Bauchi had confirmed seven persons dead and many others injured during alms stampede while one other person killed and large scale looting of food items reported in Kebbi in the past two weeks.

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The trend prompted state governments and social welfare programme agencies to adopt proactive measures to address the menace.

In Jigawa, the government constituted the state, local government and ward level committees to sanitise the palliative distribution exercise.

READ ALSO: Hardship: How to avoid palliatives distribution stampede

Mr Auwal Sankara, the Jigawa Commissioner for Special Duties, declared the exercise as orderly and hitch-free in the state.

He said the state recorded remarkable feats under the first and second phase of the palliative distribution due to decentralisation of the exercise.

Sankara said the state constituted committees at every level of governance to enhance wider stakeholder engagement, mobilise participation, promote discipline and deal with diversion of the commodities.

The feat achieved, he said, was due to proactive measures adopted to correct the lapses recorded in the fuel subsidy removal palliative distribution exercises in Dutse and Gumel Local Government Areas of the state.

“Our strategy is to guard against diversion and ensure that the food items reach reasonable number of deserving households across the state.

“We distributed 12,000 bags of rice to 35,664 persons across the 27 LGAs under the first phase of the distribution exercise.

“Gov. Umar Namadi provided 47,642 bags of rice; 13,500 bags of maize and other food items for distribution to 243,000 persons under the second phase of the exercise.

READ ALSO: Looted palliatives in Kebbi belong to Dangote, not govt – Official

“The state also distributed 29,700 cartons of pasta to 89,100 beneficiaries across the state, while 108,000 vulnerable persons each received N10,000 Conditional Cash Transfer initiated by the state government.

“This is how we distributed palliative to over 1.5 million beneficiaries directly without recording stampedes in Jigawa,” Sankara said.

On Ramadan feeding programme, Sankara said that 599 centres had been designated to provide free meal to 300 persons daily.

The government, he said, also distributed 150,000 bags of rice; 150,000 bags of maize, and several cartons of pasta to deserving families during the Ramadan fast.

However, Adamu Sha’aibu, Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Jigawa chapter, advocated for effective monitoring mechanisms to guard against diversion of the palliatives at the grassroots.

He alleged that a greater number of their members were not benefitting from the programme in the state.

While commending the smooth conduct of the palliative distribution exercise by the Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Sunusi Ahmed, a social worker, attributed the success to the decentralisation of the exercise in Jigawa. He said the measure helped to address congestion and ease distribution processes at the centres.

Similarly, Mr Isma’ila Misili, Director –General, Press Affairs, Government House, Gombe, said that a committee has been set up under the state deputy governor, Manassah Jatau, to oversee palliative distribution exercise.

“The committee coordinates sub-committees at local government and ward levels to ensure efficient coverage across all 114 political wards in the state.

“Unlike open-space distributions in some states, which can be prone to chaos, we identify beneficiaries and deliver items directly to them, mitigating the risk of stampede or disorder,” he said.

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Misilli said the approach had proven to be effective as evidenced by the seamless processes witnessed during the distribution exercises.

According to him, the state is targeting 214,500 persons under its 17th palliative distribution exercise.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to uphold robust approach in palliative distribution exercise, to ensure a hitch-free process and equitable access to all beneficiaries.


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