By Mary Obaebor
A LAWYER, Mr. Tolu Ayodele, has faulted the decision of the Federal Government to continue its school feeding programme when schools in the country have been shit down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to him, the decision could end up being a means of siphoning public funds by gluttonous public officers.
Ayodele was reacting to the statement by the Minister of Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, that the exercise would continue in spite of the fact that pupils and students are now at home.
The Minister had said on some occasions that the food rations would be taken to the homes of the affected pupils by the food vendors.
Ayodele said: “In my humble opinion, I think the Federal Government is not being sincere and it’s inconsiderate to the plight of the citizens. Rather, those at the helm of affairs are creating an opportunity to enrich thier own pockets. How can you feed school children from their parents homes when the NCDC has even found it almost impossible to convince Nigerians that they are churning out accurate information about the pandemic to the public.
“It is rather unfortunate and painful that our government and leaders who ought to be the shepherds are now the ravaging wolves that consume the flock of sheep.The actions and ineptitude of this administration have caused more death both physically, emotionally, psychologically and economically to Nigerians than the corona virus otherwise known as COVID19.
“Firstly, people were locked down, forced to stay at home against their wishes which is tantamount to house arrest or forced imprisonment without adequate protection, provision or indemnification for loss of jobs and profits through provision of paliative materials.
“Secondly, this government has failed to cater for the people even though we heard news of how relief funds were made available by the World Health Organisation to combat the negative impact of COVID19 on the economy, rather than distributing this money to the citizens through the provision of financial paliative, our leaders avoided responsibilities by sending people back to the unfumigated or disinfected street. That is how callous our leaders are in this country.
“Feeding school children that are not in school is a white elephant project aimed at diverting public funds and denying the citizens opportunities of governmental dividend at least for once since the inception of this administration. The policy of feeding children or school pupils at home is just a sham and a smoke screen aimed at deceiving the populace and the masses. How do we account for the fed children, how do we get accurate figures on amounts expended?”
The lawyer noted that the logistics to feed the pupils at home would be too cumbersome if not impossible.