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COVID-19: Items Distributed By Lagos Government As Palliatives, Assault On Our Dignity, Human Rights –Residents

But upon arriving at the particular spot of distribution, residents were disappointed to see only a small container of Jollof rice for the entire community.


Residents of Lagos, the epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, have expressed disappointment at the quality of items distributed as palliatives meant to cushion the effect of the sit-at-home directive by government. 

To cushion the impact of the lockdown, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos announced that the state would provide financial support to 250,000 residents in the state as well as feed 100,000 vulnerable persons. 

But despite that promise, residents have said they have not seen anything impressive from the government. 

Findings by SaharaReporters revealed that in the Oworonshoki area of the state, residents expressed anger in the way and manner they had been treated especially going by the poor quality of items distributed as palliatives.

Problem started when Chairman of the local government, Babatunde Sofola, showed up in the area with a caterer armed with two banners, canopy, a public address system and one small container of cooked rice.

Residents were asked to file out to receive the food provided by the state government. 

But upon arriving at the particular spot of distribution, residents were disappointed to see only a small container of Jollof rice for the entire community. 

"Initially, a lot of people were on the queue thinking it was well packaged foodstuffs but were surprised when they started distributing concoction rice with a small piece of fish," said Toluwani Jamiu, a resident of the area. 

Shortly afterwards, angry residents disrupted the distribution exercise, forcing the caterer and local government chairman to take to their heels.

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WATCH VIDEO: COVID-19: Lagos Residents Revolt Over Paltry Palliatives

"We cannot be treated as refugees. We are not slaves, the food they brought made it seem like we were in a refugee camp, how can that work out?

"The government is not helping, they cooked concoction rice that is not relevant to us. 

"We cannot be treated as refugees, it is an insult to our dignity," another visibly enraged resident identified as Austin, told SaharaReporters.

On Sunday, residents of Agboyi-Ketu Local Government Area chased away a government contractor, who brought one bag of rice for the entire community while residents earlier saw other bags of rice being moved into the house of the All Progressives Congress party chairman in the area.

In Agbado, under Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, 3kg rice, 3kg beans and 3kg garri were distributed among over 300 households.

Commissioner for Agriculture in Lagos, Gbolahan Lawal, said that government would work with existing database of the state to reach targeted beneficiaries.

A ministry source, who later spoke with SaharaReporters, said, "I can tell you that the whole thing has been hijacked. I know what is going on. 

"Staff of the ministry, the caterers and LCDA chairmen are all cheating the people."