CAN attacks government officials for hoarding COVID-19 palliatives

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter yesterday accused government officials of hiding COVID-19 palliatives meant for citizens.

In a statement signed by the state CAN chairman, Rev. John Joseph Hayab after a virtual meeting, the association condemned the vandalisation and looting of public and private properties which necessitated  the enforcement of curfew.

It express dismay that COVID-19 palliatives were discovered in warehouses located in Barnawa in Kaduna, as a result of which the youths fell into the temptation of vandalizing the property and looting the items stored there going as far as searching for other warehouses in other locations within Kaduna.

CAN described as “disturbing” and “repugnant” the fact that government officials, “in the face of hunger and untold hardship that has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic could withhold palliatives that should have been used to relieve poor citizens from the hardship and hunger that the pandemic came with.”

The statement:

“Following the event of yesterday 24th October, 2020 in some parts of Chikun and Kaduna South LGA of Kaduna State where looting and vandalization of public and private properties is reported to have been carried out which necessitated the enforcement of 24 hours curfew in those areas and later in the entire 23 local government areas of Kaduna State, the leadership of CAN Kaduna State Chapter held a virtual meeting today 25th October, 2020 with church leaders and other stakeholders in the affected communities to have an objective understanding of the matter, assess it and chart a way forward.

“Against this background, CAN Kaduna State Chapter, condemns in strong terms the vandalization and looting of public and private properties in Kaduna State by youth. We are sad to know that palliatives were discovered in warehouses located in Barnawa in Kaduna, as a result of which the youths fell into the temptation of vandalizing the property and looting the said palliatives stored there going as far as searching for other warehouses in other locations within Kaduna. CAN frowns at such actions and condemn it in strong terms.

“More disturbing and repugnant is the fact that Government officials, in the face of hunger and untold hardship that has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic could withhold palliatives that should have been used to relieve poor citizens from the hardship and hunger that the pandemic came with. We note that whoever is responsible for holding these palliatives is/are to take responsibility for this unholy act. In that regard, we call on government to investigate and take drastic actions against those whose greed and insensitivity caused the near break down of law and order.

“CAN calls on all persons who may still have palliatives in their warehouses for selfish gains against the poor masses to as a matter of urgency bring the palliatives out and share them to the citizens that they are meant for. Should you choose to keep these palliatives in your custody, the youths may still find out in the near future which will still bring us back to this ugly experience as there is nothing hidden under the sun.

“CAN calls on those responsible to come out publicly and apologize to the citizens for withholding what belongs to us at a time we needed it most. CAN also is calling on the youths to resist the temptation of vandalizing and looting. We understand the pains, we feel it too but as responsible leaders and organization we all know that two wrongs don’t make a right. Our youth must note that destroying public and private properties is never a justified means of expressing grievances. We advice that you report such suspicious steps to your leaders rather than resort to looting. We call on parents to rein in their children as actions like this will bring us more pains and embarrassment than relief.

“On the curfew announced by Government, CAN sees it as unfortunate and a step in the wrong direction, we cannot address every issue by imposing curfew all the time. How can we allow the wrong doing of a few, within a little part of the state cause the larger Community of the 23 LGAs pains and hardship? Government should find other ways of handling criminality. Curfew has become an easy tool in the hands of government that at the slightest provocation, it is imposed and life made difficult by a vast majority of law abiding citizens. We fear that if we continue in this direction, in the future, citizens won’t take government serious when the need for it arises. Curfew should be a last resort in containing crises of humongous proportion.

“These unfortunate incidents are happening because government is not doing enough to carry her citizens along in issues as this. CAN notes that issues like this escalate largely because government is not carrying the relevant stakeholders along. These youths live in communities where we have different community leaders; Government should involve these leaders in matters as these rather than resorting to imposing curfew at every little provocation. We therefore call on Government to as a matter of urgency reassess and review the 24 hours curfew imposed to a more favorable time to enable citizens go about their lawful business.

“While we call on Government to review the curfew, we call on citizens especially pastors and all Christians in Kaduna State to be lawful and obey Government regulations always. We reiterate the call on all to find lawful channels of ventilating their grievances to enable a peaceful environment for our individual and collective growth.”

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