Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River has officially begun the distribution of palliatives in the state as part of the efforts to alleviate the pain occasioned by subsidy removal on the citizens.
In a brief speech, the governor, represented by his Deputy, Mr Peter Odey, said that the process was devoid of partisanship.
He expressed the confidence that the Palliative Sharing Committee, headed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Anthony Owan-Enoh, would do the needful.
“This distribution is not about the All Progressive Congress, People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other political party but for the people of Cross River.
“Apart from adding N500 million to what we were given by the Federal Government, the State Government also added N10,000 to the salaries of the civil servants, which they have started receiving from September.
“So, I appeal to everyone present in this distribution not to fight or struggle because every group has been captured and will get what is due them,” he said.
The governor also appealed to the groups to ensure that the palliatives collected got to their members in the rural areas who, he said, were in need of the palliatives more.
Also, Owan-Enoh said that equity and fairness would guide the process of the distribution, adding that this was the reason the distribution was done in the open.
He further said that only the state chapter of the Youth Council of Nigeria (YCN) would receive its 100 bags of rice at the symbolic take off of the distribution.
He said for other groups, they would need to go back to their offices and draw up a structured plan of how their share would be distributed from the top to the least persons in other Local Government Areas.
“For today, we will only give to YCN, they have brought their colleagues from the 18 LGAs because we insisted they must do so.
“For other groups, the distribution won’t be done today, we will go back to our office and whatever group that gives us a structure of how they will share theirs from top to bottom will be given a pass.
“That pass qualifies the group to approach the warehouse and we will monitor the distribution to the group in the presence of its members,” the SSG said.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Gregory Olayi, appealed for equitable distribution of the palliatives in the 18 LGAs of the state.