Ihama Debunks Claim He Diverted Palliative
The private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has petitioned the Edo State government over alleged misappropriation of its food palliatives worth over N465 million by a member of House Representatives from the state, Dr. Omoriege Ogbeide Ihama, who represents Oredo Federal Constituency, Benin, Edo state.
CACOVID, a coalition of organised private sector operators, had earlier in the year, pooled resources together to complement the Federal and state governments’ efforts on COVID-19 pandemic, purchasing and donating testing kits, medical supplies, built isolation centres and providing food palliatives worth N23 billion for distribution to the poor and the vulnerable in partnership with the state governments.
The coalition said in Lagos that it dispatched food palliatives to Edo State to cater for 36,295 households but was alarmed to see the lawmaker on state television distributing the foodstuffs, claiming he bought them, without recourse to CACOVID as the provider.
The group described the development as very fraudulent and unbecoming of a federal lawmaker to lay claims and take credit for what he knew nothing about how it was purchased, the amount spent and how they were taken to Edo State.
A CACOVID leader and ACT Foundation Chief Executive, Ms Osayi Alile, told newsmen in Lagos that the coalition was very embarrassed by the video of the distribution of its food palliatives by Hon. Ihama to his constituency, claiming he provided them, when it was CACOVID who donated the stuff to the state for distribution to the people.
“We need to let people know that it was a false claim, Ihama never bought those products, they were purchased by CACOVID to complement the state government’s efforts at alleviating the untold hardship brought upon the people by the COVID-19.” Ihama has, however, debunked claims that he diverted CACOVID palliative.
Speaking with Afriupdate, the member of House stated that at no time did he mention that the palliative was from him as some people are claiming, adding he shared what came to his people as required.
He said: “Is the palliative not for the needy and did they not get it? What happened to the other local government that got and didn’t share? If they want to share palliative and I represent one, my duty is to share it and I did.
“CACOVID was written boldly on the bags that were given out to the people or did they claim that I changed it to my name? It was brought for Oredo local government and it was given to them. The only thing I said on the national television was that the economy is in bad shape and we will continue to facilitate help for the people. “I didn’t mention that I bought it, where will I get such money from? I think I require commendation,” he said.