The federal government has revealed that #EndSARS protests affected the distribution of palliatives meant to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the citizenry.
Speaking on Thursday at a briefing in Abuja, Sani Aliyu, coordinator of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19, said the unrest and violence that characterised the aftermath of the #EndSARS delayed distribution of relief materials donated by the private sector coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
Recall that there were nationwide protests against police brutality under the #EndSARS movement in October. The demonstrations lasted for two weeks.
The protest which started as peaceful demonstrations degenerated into a full-blown crisis, as hoodlums attacked government and private properties, while residents invaded warehouses and carted away COVID-19 palliatives.
Aliyu, who commended CACOVID for its efforts, bemoaned the looting of warehouses which he said affected the distribution of the materials.
“I also wanted to briefly talk about the recent violence and looting that followed the #EndSARS demonstrations. We know this has affected CACOVID and their ability to deliver palliatives,” he said.
“Nevertheless, we would like to acknowledge and commend CACOVID for their efforts in donating palliatives to the public.
“Through their generosity and altruism, they have resourced significant amount of money in order to contribute to the palliative response in the country.”
Aliyu, in his speech, said CACOVID has kept careful and transparent records of the distribution process.
“We can confirm that the donation initiative is currently 95 percent complete, even though we have seen a lot of looting of some of the warehouses under the state governments,” he said.
“State governments that have received the donations are responsible for the distribution of these palliatives to their local government areas.”
Aliyu, thereafter, pleaded with beneficiaries of the palliatives to cooperate with the state and local governments.
“We welcome the plan by CACOVID to provide detailed information on the resources that they have put in, not only for the palliative exercise but also for the donations they have made to government and other parts of the COVID response,” he added.