The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has apologised for the delay in the distribution of palliatives to underserved communities in Gwagwalada Area Council.
Aliyu tendered the apology while fielding questions from journalists during the inspection of palliative items for the area council on Saturday in Abuja.
“I sincerely apologise to the entire people of Gwagwalada Area Council and on behalf of my team, take responsibility for the delay.
“We were ready on Friday, but we had to halt because the transport organisations almost held us to a ransom.
I will tell you again that on behalf of the FCT Administration, we will take responsibility,” Aliyu said.
She used the occasion to debunk allegations of alleged diversion of palliative items in the Federal Capital Territory in some quarters.
The minister maintained that with the composition and structure of the monitoring team, it would be impossible for any diversion to take place.
Aliyu noted that all the stakeholders including representatives of the youth, women, political and religious leaders were involved in the monitoring and distribution of the palliative items.
“I will be very clear with you, it is not possible with this team, except we are not Nigerians that took an oath and pledged to Nigeria, our nation, to be faithful, loyal and honest to serve Nigeria with all our strength.
“I want to put it to you that the composition of this team is so strong across the 62 wards of the six area councils of the territory.
” It is not possible for all of them to unite with 10 men each from all the stakeholders to team up to divert palliative items.
“I had to trace issues of diversion when I heard, only to discover that it was a private organisation that just came to carry out its own civic responsibility and not our own team.
” And I know I will still put it to you that there is no diversion that will be accommodated.
” I want to put it to Nigerians that this exercise is as transparent as possible and there is also the Call Centre toll free line for any complaint,” Aliyu said.
She, however, vowed to hold representatives of the stakeholders accountable for any misconduct during the exercise.
Receiving the items, Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Adamu Danze, assured the minister that justice would be served in the distribution of the palliative items.
He maintained that all the councilors representing various wards had been briefed on the modalities of distribution of the palliative items to the vulnerable in the communities.
Danze pledged not to fail the people, adding that traditional, religious and youth leaders in Gwagwalada also pledged their commitment to the success of the exercise.