Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has ordered investigation into the distribution of palliatives with a view to bringing to book culprits who diverted food items.
Governor Diri gave the directive during the state’s executive council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, following complaints that some individuals diverted items meant for each ward in the state.
The state government had procured more food items in addition to the five trucks of rice allotted to each state by the Federal Government as part of the measures to cushion the effect of the removal of petrol subsidy on people of the state.
Each ward was allocated at least 150 bags of rice apart from maize.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor condemned the action of those who reportedly diverted palliatives entrusted to them for distribution in the 105 wards across the state.
He directed the Secretary to the State Government, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, Coordinator of the state Community Safety Corps, Brig-General Eric Angaye (retd) and the Acting Chief of Staff, Government House, Dr Peter Akpe, to work with relevant bodies to identify those culpable.
He urged politicians to be selfless in their conduct and not withhold what is meant for people at the grassroots.
He equally thanked members of his cabinet for working hard to achieve victory during the November 11 governorship poll in the state, saying that they collectively won the election.
The governor appreciated Bayelsans for their support and show of love during the election, and promised that his administration would work hard to improve the condition of the state.
His words: “Comcerning the palliatives that I directed should be shared, I received reports that some greedy politicians converted some of them to their use.
“I have asked for an immediate investigation and anyone found wanting will face the wrath of the law, particularly those that are appointees. You were asked to share 150 bags of rice, you went with 80 or 100 bags to your people in the wards and villages. You cheat on your people.
“The SSG, Coordinator of the Community Safety Corps and the Chief of Staff should investigate through BYSEMA (Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency) those who were in position to distribute the palliatives to stakeholders in the wards and local government areas.
“Confirm how many bags got to each ward and how they were distributed. Not only rice, we also distributed maize. I heard that some were sold.
“I want to have that report. Work through all the commissioners, members of the House of Assembly and leaders. All of those involved will be brought to book.
“We must work assiduously not to disappoint our people. God has placed this assignment on our hands. Let us not be greedy. Whatever that should be given to the people, you must make sure it gets to them.”
The Bayelsa helmsman also called on the opposition in the state to concede defeat over the last election, noting that he won legitimately and would defend his victory confidently having won the hearts of Bayelsans through the various policies of his administration.
Diri equally warned troublemakers to toe the path of peace, saying his administration would not condone acts of terrorism and intimidation in the state.
He said: “Our victory across all the wards is through legitimate votes. We never indulged in electoral fraud that others perpetrated. If they say they are going to court, they are free. We will emphatically state our victory in court.
“I advise them to allow the sleeping dog to lie. It is all over. They know what they did. If they can question what happened in my village, we will open the books for them. Let them open what happened in their villages as well.
“This is our state. We have come of age. You cannot terrorise anybody in this state. Non-state actors will not be allowed to intimidate and terrorise state actors. The strategy to win election is not to go for guns. But it is to appeal to our people if you want to lead them.”