By G9ija

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has queried the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, over alleged diversion of funds the Federal Government provided for COVID-19 palliatives.

In a statement on Sunday by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, the party accused the minister and some Federal Government officials of cover-up in the alleged diversion of the funds.

The Federal Government had, in the thick of the COVID-19 lockdown, released N500 billion and food items to the ministry to get palliatives to poor Nigerians to cushion the effects of the lockdown.

The statement said: “The PDP is appalled by the scandalous attempt by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, to create an impression that the CACOVID palliatives besieged in the aftermath of the EndSARS protests were the same Federal Government palliatives for which she is required to give account.

“Our party wants to inform the minister that such infantile antics cannot sway Nigerians, as the public is already aware that CACOVID palliatives came from donations from well-meaning individuals and organisations, which is completely different from the N500 billion voted by the Federal Government, which has not been accounted for.

“If anything, this attempt by the minister to muddle-up issues and confuse Nigerians only goes to validate allegations of stealing and diversion of funds and palliatives provided by the Federal Government and placed under her purview.

“Of course, the CACOVID palliatives have nothing to do with the alleged stealing and diversion of funds in the cash disbursement of N20,000 to undocumented beneficiaries, leading to widespread outcry by Nigerians that the bulk of the money may have been diverted.

“The embattled minister has not explained the reason for the obvious circumventing of statutory public finance report system and appropriate documentations by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), leading to the alleged diversion of funds to private purses.”