Governor Abba Kabiru Yusuf of Kano State, on Sunday, uncovered a warehouse where food items meant for palliatives were being diverted at Sharada industrial estate in the state.
Leading government officials and journalists to the isolated warehouse, Governor Yusuf was conducted round the facility where supposed hijacked food items were kept along with drums of chemicals.
The Governor expressed shock and vowed to punish those involved in the scandalous act of diverting the palliative food items consisting of maize and rice.
He, however, directed the Commissioner of Police to take over the warehouse and conduct an investigation to fish out all suspects involved.
The incidence occurred following a tip from some community members in Sharada who discovered suspicious movements of unknown people around the warehouse and reported the matter to Sharada police division.
While briefing the Governor at the warehouse, a community leader in Sharada Mr. Rabiu Amour said thousands of bags branded with the Governor’s portrait and designed as palliatives were discovered to be re-bagged.
Amour said: “We know these food items are meant to be distributed to less privileged people, therefore we decided to make a whistle blow. This is our contribution to the good efforts of the Governor, he is trying his best to help the downtrodden but some people within the system are sabotaging him.”
Shortly after the inspection, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Danjuma Mahmoud, who to briefed newsmen, stated that the state government discovered an isolated warehouse where released palliatives have been diverted, said investigation has commenced immediately.
Mahmoud said: “You will recall that after the official unveiling of distribution of food items meant for the less privilege as palliatives to crushing the impact of fuel subsidy removal, the government later set aside another large portion of the palliatives specifically to be distributed to people with special needs like in the society.
“Besides people with special needs, the last round of palliatives were also meant for families and widows of members of the Armed forces, the Army, Navy, Airforce, police, and that of the sister agencies like Immigration, Prison services, Customs, Civilians defence, Road safety and the Hisbah Vigilante.
“Incidentally, the government discovered that several bags of these food items have been hijacked and diverted to a warehouse in Sharada industrial estate where intelligent reports revealed that those food items are being re-bagged and to be sold in the market.”
Meanwhile, the Kano Police Command said it has arrested one Tasiu Al’amin Roba, a Senior Special Assistant (SSA), to the Governor attached to Office of the Secretary to the State Government and another, named Abdulkadir Muhammad, who are already in police custody at Sharada division.
Following the directive of the Governor, the suspect are expected to be transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further investigation into the matter.
Recall Governor Yusuf had set up a Compliance Committee for Palliatives Distribution headed by the Secretary to the State Government and the his Chief of Staff, with six other relevant commissioners, as members to ensure that all palliatives items get to the right beneficiaries.
While inaugurating the committee, Governor Yusuf emphasized that no political appointee under his government will benefit from the palliatives as it is meant to be distributed to the people who need it the most