Edo: SCOs reject selective COVID-19 stimulus package


The Edo State Civil Society Organisations (EDOSCO), Sunday accused the state government of playing politics with the proposed economic incentives for residents to cushion the effects of the dreaded coronavirus.

The rights group said: “Our investigations have revealed that the state government has commissioned its political party leaders at the ward level to compile bank details of persons with APC membership cards and voter’s card who are qualified for the package.

“The exercise has kicked off with party members and those close to the henchmen in the party as beneficiaries leaving others at the mercy of hunger when a total lockdown becomes inevitable”.

In a statement issued by EDOSCOS’s spokesman, he stated that: “the politicisation of the economic stimulus packaged by Edo state government is unacceptable and we condemn it in its entirety.”

The spokesman said: “The stimulus exercise being currently managed by the political party structure should be terminated forthwith and relevant government establishments should take it over to achieve the expected spread for all.

“There are existing government administrative structures that are  expected to handle things of this nature.

“And not every person belongs to the APC or have affiliation to any of its leaders to qualify for a programme supposedly meant for everyone.

“We cannot afford to watch this happen while death by coronavirus or hunger lurks around the corner.

“We need to be seen as serious minded people who are more concerned about the genuine and collective fight against the Coronavirus than a people who are only moved by political interests.

“The exercise should be transparent and overseen by relevant stakeholders,” Edigin said.

The media aide to Governor Godwin Obaseki , Mr. Crusoe Osagie could not be reached for comment as  calls to his mobile phone went unanswered.

The state is currently lockdown after the government’s order that schools, markets and shops should be shut and  only those on essential service should open for business.

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