C’River Governor Flags Off First Batch of Palliatives

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By Ashie Osor

In a bid to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal, Cross River State Governor, Senator Prince Bassey Otu, weekend, flagged off the first batch of palliatives NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed.

The items ranging from foodstuffs, seedlings and farming equipment including pesticides were distributed at the Industrial Park in Calabar, to the seven Local Government Areas of the Southern Senatorial District of the State, while grinding and sewing machines were being awaited.

Otu remarked that the palliative was an initiative of the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, disclosed that the train of distribution will in a few days move to the central and northern senatorial districts, so as to cushion the effects of the hard times.

“We are aware that times are hard and since the fuel subsidy removal, prices of things have skyrocketed in the market and things have been difficult for our people.

“The Federal Government has sent these to us to ensure that we give them out, this is for southern senatorial district and after here, we are moving to the central and northern senatorial districts to do same,” the Governor stated.

According to him, the palliative from the state government is different and would be coming soon as the present administration in the state is already collaborating with relevant stakeholders including the Nigeria Labour Congress and other Trade Unions to fashion out ways for the distribution.

Urging the citizenry to exercise patience as the distribution lasts, the Governor assured that the items will get to all who need them as his administration will not stay and watch the citizenry go to bed hungry.

“It is not how much you have, but to care enough for the downtrodden while ensuring that what we get we release and distribute to all across party lines,” Otu assured.

Director-General of Cross River SEMA, Chief Angela Odey, applauded the efforts of the President, Senator Bola Tinubu and the Governor, Prince Bassey Otu, for the steps taken to check hunger amongst the citizenry.

“We have set up logistics for distribution to the various senatorial zones and local government areas in line with the ‘people first’ mantra of our state governor.

“Distribution of farm inputs including cassava stems, yam seedlings and chemicals are ongoing as SEMA had registered farmers who are armed with identification slips and have been coming from different parts of the state for collection.

“While we admit that some of these items are coming to farmers a bit late, we are hopeful that subsequent farming materials will be brought at the right time,” Odey emphasised.

Special Adviser to the Governor on General Duties, Barr Ekpenyong Akiba, informed that the Federal Government in partnership with the State Government is seriously ready to cushion the hardship occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal.

Akiba who was full of praises for the Federal and Cross River State governments, also applauded the beneficiaries for organising themselves in an orderly manner as the exercise took place without rancour.

Affirming that indeed times are hard, the Governor’s aide further prayed God to grant the President and the state Governor the needed grace to continue to touch the lives of the citizenry.

For Hausa/Fulani women leader in the state, Hajia Fatima Abubakar, “this is the beginning of good things, we believe that our leaders at the federal and state levels will do more.

“Before now, no one will doubt the existence of hunger and lack, but these measures would ameliorate our suffering for sometime and it is our prayers that many more good things come our way,” the women leader said.