An outburst by one of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari, Zahra, is creating credibilty problems for a viral post by a bank chief, which sought to give an impression that Covid-19 palliatives been looted were not hoarded.
Curiously, the post refers to a fifth column (a shadowy group operating within an organisation or government), a speculation that has been in the air for days without its members been named. Whispers have suggested the group is executing a parallel agenda to discredit the Federal Government by infiltrating and using the #EndSARS protests to achieve its goal.
The post, which remain unverified, reads: “Good afternoon Sigma Chief, Old Chiefs and Loyalists. As a no (number) of Sigmites may be aware of, I sit on the Steering Committee of the Private Sector Coalition Against Covid 19 christened (SC) CaCovid. The other members of the SC …. We set up the coalition to pull resources together to support the Government to combat Covid 19 pandemic. Having successfully provided health facilities, diagnostic kits and medications to all the states and Abuja, we realised that the pandemic has destroyed the economic power (whatever that was worth pre Covid) of most Nigerians. We decided to provide food to 1.7m most vulnerable families across the country and we put a substantial resources behind the initiative. The food items we intend to purchase included rice, pasta, noodles, gari, sugar and salt, etc. The challenge was how to purchase those items worth about N15bn without driving inflation. We had to contract this out to various manufacturers and that took time for them to deliver the goods to us. It was only in September and early October that we handed the goods over to the various state governments and FCT. Its therefore a fallacy that the State Governments or … have hoarded those foodstuffs.
As Sigmites it is important that we interrogate information received thoroughly before we share or comment on such information. Significant amount of misinformation are trending on SM (Social Media). We must be discerning and probing hence we join the fifth columnists in pushing our dear country on to the road to Kigali. I sincerely pray not
But The Punch reports says a daughter of the President, Zahra Buhari-Indimi says the discovery of food items and other COVID-19 palliatives in several warehouses across the country is evidence that her father, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is not Nigeria’s problem.
Zahra said this on her Instagram Stories on Sunday.
She wrote, “Now that people confirmed that Buhari distributed enough palliatives nationwide, it is clear Buhari is not our problem.”
Thousands of Nigerians have in the last few days plundered warehouses in several states including Lagos, Plateau, Osun, and Kwara in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.
In some instances, COVID-19 palliatives donated by the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 were found in private homes of politicians.
Some of the items include cartons of noodles, sacks of garri, and bags of rice, some of which had gone bad due to poor and prolonged storage.
In Osun State, the government said it was waiting for officials from Abuja to “commission” the goods hence the delay in distributing them while in Lagos, the Majority Leader of the House of Assembly, SOB Agunbiade, said he kept the palliatives in his Ikorodu home because he wanted to distribute them on his birthday.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has asked the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives in warehouses in several states.
Additional report by The Punch