The federal government distributed 8,028 bags of various food products to the vulnerable population in the state of Gombe on Saturday.
The items were handed over to no fewer than 50 groups comprising traditional and religious institutions, expected to trickle down to the poor within their constituencies.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. dr. Ali Pantami, representing the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), said the groups identified were individuals with a proven track record, adding that it would trickle down to the poorest of the poor.
He said: “As you know, this job requires trust, no matter how bad a community is, you will find that there is a category of people who are respected. The category can be one, two or even more. The people we trust are our religious and royal fathers.”
The president further commented, revealing that those identified to spare the head of distribution would achieve the desired goal of empowerment.
He said: “It is our own responsibility to pass it on to them and they know the burden that is on their shoulders and we are not afraid of their integrity and I have no doubt that what has been given to them will be delivered effectively. We have given these to over 50 institutions and they know their followers.”
Buhari added that the two institutions of religious and traditional leaders were closest to the people.
“They are closer to God Almighty and implicitly we need to think positively about them. We have given them in writing and there is a form attached to them that they may want to document that they are closer to the base,” the president said.
The chairman of the Joint Association of Persons Living with Disability, Umar Ali-Goro, also urged the Gombe state government to ensure the distribution of palliatives in-store.
Ali-Goro said: “There are many palliatives in Gombe’s shop. The federal government must ensure that states provide palliative items that are still in store to people with disabilities.”