By Charles Onyekwere
There are strong indications that some of the palliatives made for the people of the state have been diverted by officials of the Ebonyi state government for private use.
Sources told Daily Times that when the tipper trucks loaded the palliatives belonging to various institution’s, the remaining ones were diverted by known government officials especially commissioner and aides.
Ebonyi state government had on Tuesday, distributed palliatives to students of various tertiary institutions in the state amidst tight security to avert looting by hoodlums.
Before the distribution, Daily Times had earlier reported that residents of the state have thronged Abakaliki and other parts of the state in search of the COVID-19 palliatives allegedly hoarded by the government.
Daily Times further also reported that suspected hoodlums have since last week been targeting the warehouses within Abakaliki and outside the state where they alleged the palliatives were kept as a result of purported hunger in the state.
Following rumours of planned attack by hoodlums at government warehouses the governor, David Umahi, directed for immediate distribution of the said palliatives to students of the state to avert danger.
Unconfirmed report revealed that suspected hoodlums had tried to invade the international conference centre Abakaliki, the warehouse but it took the swift intervention of security agencies that allegedly chased them away.
However, the security agencies have since last weekend condoned the warehouses by blocking major roads and preventing road users from passing through one lane of Ezza and Onwe roads and other places where the palliatives were stored to prevent possible invasion.
In a move to divert people eyes from the said palliatives, the government rushely shared the relief packages to six tertiary institutions in the state who were absent during the first distribution phase due to closure of schools as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
The benefitting institutions include; Ebonyi state University (EBSU), Ikwo college of Education(ICOE), Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi state college of health sciences Ezziangbo, Federal college of Agriculture Ishiagu, and Federal polytechnic Uwanna.
The palliatives were allegedly handed over to the Students’ Union Governments, SUG, of the various aforementioned institutions where government used the opportunity to divert some of the items to their various homes.
At the time of filing this report, neither the commissioner for information and State orientation, Barr. Uchenna Orji nor the special Assistant to the governor on Media and publicity, Mr Francis Nwaze responded to the WhatsApp messages put across to them for reaction.