By IKENNA EMEWU
An outcome of the briefing of the presidential task team on coronavirus Tuesday has generated so much tension on the social media.
The reports which we published in bits have been matter of great interest since yesterday evening that on our Facebook share on the africachinapresscentre account alone, there have been 28,442 views of the report at the time of filing this report.
In addition, there have been about 87 comments, 42 shares and over 100 likes.
The report quoted the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq as saying the government, contrary to the position of Nigerians has provided ample palliatives for the citizens to help them weather through the economic hardship that would arise from the lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
While responding to question from the media the team of ministers and the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) held, Minister Farouq had asserted that contrary to what Nigerians say that the government has not made provisions to assist them cope with the hardship that comes with the lockdown of economic activities especially among a population one of the journalists described as belonging to the poverty capital of the world cope, government has acted responsibly.
She said that the measures started with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that made ample provisions of friendly conditions to encourage production and trickled down to reduction in the pump price of petroleum products and many others.
Her position was corroborated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federal, Mr. Boss Mustapha who said Nigerians should understand that the pandemic is one that attacks not just the health of the people and the nation, but also its wealth. He also enumerated some others measures put in place.
Sadiya Farouq reeled out a lot of incentives already in place by the federal government including the database of the social register she said has about 11.7m poorest Nigerians drawn from over 2 million households, 4,946 electoral wards in over 700 LGAs of 35 states of the federation. And these people have been receiving government stipend to assist them pull through. Of particular mention are Nigerians living in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, the physically challenged, the elderly and ill citizens
She assured that the governments at various levels have been reaching out to these people and they are well taken care of for the trying season.
But the people totally disagree and their over 100 comments seem to query where the beneficiaries are and wants the government to explain how and through what means these people have been reached and assisted as claimed.
While some others have outright disdain for the claims of the government, others want explanation and proof.
For instance, one of the commentators, surnamed Ali said: “I don’t know why Nigeria politicizes every condition we find ourselves in. I listened to the TVC and Channels today when the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had a oppress conference, Minister Farouq said all these. God help Nigerians with all these fake and blatant lies.”
Another comment by a person we simply recognize with one of his names – Gofrey said: this is open lie. Publish their locations across the states to Nigerians to enable people to go and register and authenticate your claims. There is none in the SE.”
Another comment was more of prayer and expression of frustration and noted: “I swear, whoever steals from the government or the people again will be compensated with coronavirus infection.”