COVID-19 Palliatives: Group queries SERAP over frivolous requests on humanitarian affairs minister
The Change Africa Crusade Ambassadors (CACA) has expressed disgust at Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) over the request that the Federal Government make certain disclosures on COVID-19 palliatives in the country.
According to the group, this is aimed to blackmail Minister of Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq.
Recall that SERAP, had last week, filed a lawsuit against the Federal High Court, Abuja to order the FG and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over COVID-19 palliatives in the country.
In a statement signed by Ambassador Benjamin Akinyemi, on Monday, CACA said SERAP is “insensitive
to the point where it constitutes itself into a distraction at a time that all efforts are geared towards minimizing human misery arising from the COVID-19”.
It added that there is “nothing to gain from compromising the integrity of the palliatives and relief distribution system simply to pander to the whims of a paid-for-hire platform like SERAP”.
CACA, however, warned SERAP to allow the minister to focus on the task on the ground of minimizing human misery arising from the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Read the full statement below:
Change Africa Crusade Ambassadors (CACA) is appalled by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), which filed a lawsuit against the Federal High Court, Abuja to order the federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make certain disclosures over COVID-19 palliatives in the country.
CACA has since discovered that the suit, rather than aiming for transparency and accountability in government, is actually aimed at the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, the CBN Governor – Mr Godwin Emefiele and other government officials that SERAP is out to blackmail. This is an unfortunate situation that has again outed SERAP as a cheap political tool that detractors are able to deploy on the fly.
We find it irresponsible that SERAP is insensitive to the point where it constitutes itself into a distraction at a time that all efforts are geared towards minimizing human misery arising from the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit before the Federal High Court seeking names of beneficiaries of the FG’s intervention for vulnerable Nigerians is a clear display of SERAP’s hatred and double standard as a confused organization that is no longer able to tell its right from left.
The lawsuit is not because SERAP is not aware of the numerous testimonies by Nigerians that have benefitted immensely from the transparency and accountability which the Honourable Minister has displayed in the discharge of her duties especially on the distribution of palliatives and cash to well-deserving Nigeria, but because SERAP is desperate to retire the numerous funding it gets from foreign governments and agencies whose sole aim is to recolonize Nigeria.
The haste behind SERAP’s request becomes particularly questionable knowing that disclosing the names of beneficiaries at this sensitive time, when the distribution of palliatives is still ongoing, may discourage some vulnerable families from stepping forward to receive the palliatives. It is also on record that some individuals and organizations had elected to be unanimous, so, publishing their names could lead to a situation where non-governmental support for the palliatives dries up because the identities of donors were not protected.
There is, therefore, nothing to gain from compromising the integrity of the palliatives and relief distribution system simply to pander to the whims of a paid-for-hire platform like SERAP, which dubiously dabbles into the matter beyond its capacity and scope.
What SERAP should have done is to wait for the virus to be successfully managed and them come forward with its demand at a time when such action will not constitute a distraction or threat to the process of shielding vulnerable Nigerians from suffering. It must also be stated that there is the statutory year-end audit that will answer the questions that SERAP is currently jumping the gun to ask, reports of such audits are usually public.
CACA advises SERAP, its affiliates and partners in its questionable endeavour to stop distracting the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and the CBN Governor so that they can focus on the task at hand. SERAP is at liberty to decide whether it will refund the amount it has been mobilized with for the exercise to its clients or simply go ahead and defraud its clients as it has done in the past.
In the meantime, we urge the officeholders and institutions that have been frivolously sued by SERAP to approach the court to throw out the suit for the reason of its frivolity.