…as gov avoids minister, programme suspended indefinitely
There was a mild drama on Sunday in Zamfara as the Federal Government’s Conditional Cash Transfer intervention in the state got enmeshed in controversy.
The programme was hurriedly postponed due to alleged insecurity in the state, just as the Federal Government also suspended palliatives distribution in the state until further notice, according to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development’s statement in Abuja.
The statement said, “The ministry has postponed the flag-off ceremony of the Conditional Cash Transfer intervention in Zamfara State due to insecurity.
“The flag-off of GEEP loans, fertiliser distribution and handing over of COVID-19 palliatives, all scheduled for the weekend in Zamfara, have been suspended till further notice.”
Reports from the state, however, said that Governor Bello Matawalle deliberately avoided the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruk, who was in the state on Sunday for the programme.
The minister was said to have visited the Zamfara Government House to pay a courtesy call on the governor before the commencement of the exercise, but neither Governor Matawale nor any of his aides was available to receive her.
First News learnt that after the minister waited for several hours without being attended to by anyone, she returned to Abuja on a waiting helicopter.
Journalists were prevented from interviewing the minister by her security aides.
Also, invited guests, especially would-be beneficiaries, returned home empty-handed.