From Paul Amarachukwu, Owerri
Media Relations Consultant, Chief Dr Fideĺ Onyeneke has advised the Federal and State governments to constitute Relief Committees as a matter of urgency to ensure equitable distribution of palliative materials to all the nooks and corners of the country as a deliberate effort to cushion the effect of the lock down for COVID 19.
In a statement in Owerri on Wednesday, Chief Onyeneke suggested that the membership of the relief committees should be drawn from religious organisations, Non governmental organisations(NGOs), CSOs, Nigerian Redcross, Media, public and civil services to ensure transparency and credibility in the distribution exercise.
He said that all funds, food items and other stimulus materials meant for the vulnerable persons and other individuals should pass through the committees to the identified beneficiaries in order to win the confidence of the masses.
Onyeneke also urged the government to thoroughly explain the modalities and yardsticks used to identify the beneficiaries to avoid any iota of doubt and suspicions by Nigerians.
Onyeneke who is a former National Trustee and Imo state Chairman of Nigeria Union Of Journalists(NUJ), said that the palliative materials if not properly handled would cause mistrust amongst Nigerians.
He also advised the Federal government to share the food items and other materials to all the states of the federation rather than concentrating on only the two states of Lagos and Ogun with the Federal capital Territory.
“All the states of the country are locked down as a result of the Corona virus pandemic.Generality of Nigerians must therefore benefit from the palliative,” Onyeneke stated.
He however commended the federal and state governments for the frantic efforts they made to control the rapid spread of the disease.
The Media/Relations Consultant expressed happiness with the professionalism exhibited by the doctors and other health workers in the fight against the pandemic, adding that their giant strides had shown that Nigeria has professionals who could compete favourably with their colleagues in other parts of the world.
Chief Onyeneke also called for adequate incentives for Journalists and media houses in the country for the hard work, patriotism and dedication they showed as they mounted intensive public enlightenment and the coverage of the pandemic.
He suggested the immediate establishment of functional and well equipped Media centers in all the state capitals to serve as a link between the government and the governed, especially for the dissemination of apprpriate information on the raveging corona virus.
He urged the government not to leave any stone unturned in providing adequately modern health facilities for the treatment of covid-19, stressing that the pandemic had created a vertable opportunity for the government the enhance the status of the health sector in the country.
Chief Onyeneke urged Nigerians to adhere strictly to the directives issued by the government on the precautionary measures against the disease, stressing that complying to the directives is in the interest of everybody.
He also condemned in strong terms,the publication of false and fake information on the social media which is capable of misinforming and misleading the teeming masses thereby leading them to greater danger.