‘The street next to ours got 1 derica of rice and 1 derica of beans for the whole street of about 20 houses. There are 10 adults in our own house alone. Help do the maths. How many adults do you expect in a 10 room face-me-i-face-you? I will not tell you the number of children to prevent heart virus especially with hunger virus on the hunt and blackout virus on surveillance.’
We heard of large sums of donations by individuals and cooperate bodies to the Federal Government to support the COVID-19 fight. According to reports, over 2.6m have been given physical cash and #5b transferred to Nigerians. So, what happened? From where cometh the fraud?
- The non-fulfilment of pledges by donors?
- The Federal Government?
- The State Government?
- The Local Government
- Or the stimulus package kept dwindling as it passed-on from one channel of distribution to its final destination?
The writer in a last-minute rush was at Ikotun market in Lagos State a day to the lockdown and happened upon some market women discussion which ended with: ‘won ni won ma pin onje sugbon se a ma ri? Awon ma sa n fani oloriburuku Local Government workers yi o ni je ko de odo wa. Awon oga pata-pata lo ma ri gba, won a pin fun gbogbo awon iyawo ati girlfriends won, awa mekunu ko lo ma ri gba’ meaning, ‘we are told foodstuffs will be distributed but will it ever get to us? The good for nothing Local Government workers will not share to us. It is the bosses that will be recipients and they will share with their wives and girlfriends. The indigents/less-privileged/vulnerable ones will not be recipients’.
They Are Appreciated
This is not to say the efforts of donors, the labour and skills of the country’s wonderful and brave Health Workers are not appreciated at a time as this. In this regard, kudos and salutations to the courage of all Medics at the forefront of this battle but for people within said LGA, the distribution process was a disheartening, shameful slap-on-the-face a “let us rub-it-in” their faces spectacle. It was an eye-opener.
What did we do wrong?
Where did we go wrong so as to enable us to learn and improve our processes? We continuously cry bad leadership but what about the followers? What about those of us who have found ourselves in differing positions or offices or authority? What have we done or put in place to improve our little corners? Food for thought for all.