By: Benedict Okache, CRS-MOI Officer reporting from Min. of Information & Orientation

Cross River State Commissioner for Information & Orientation, Comrade Asu Okang has said that the choice of Religious and Traditional Leaders for the distribution of the State Government's COVID 19 Stimulus Package to the Poor and Vulnerable population across the State by Governor Ben Ayade is the best  decision that will guarantee crediblity of the exercise.

Comrade Okang who stated this while speaking on the side lines of the official flag-off of palliatives,otherwise referred to as COVID 19 Stimulus Response Packages, to all segments of the vulnerable population across the State,also pointed out that Religious and Traditional Leaders are the closest to the people and can easily identify the very poor members of their Communities and Churches, respectively.

The Infornation and Orientation Commissioner,  who is also the Chairman of the State COVID-19 TaskForce Sub-Committee on Publicity and Advertisement, declared that Governor Ayade carefully made the choice of those to distribute the palliatives, bearing in mind the COVID-19 Stimulus Response, which is meant to cushion the ravaging effects of the pandemic, on all residents of the State,irrespective of political party interests.

"Our Religious and Traditional leaders are well respected people in our Society. We hold them in high esteem and also reverr them for their transparent and truthfull dispositions at all times",Comrade Okang remarked,adding that this special assignment given them by. Governor Ayade will provide  a platform for these category of Community leaders to deliver themselves creditably through guaranteeing that the palliatives get to the grassroots' very poor population that needs this support most in this trying times in our nation's history.

He explained that the new 8000 employment palliatives, which was also announced by the Gocernor at the official flag-off ceremony, is expected to cover all residents of the State, whether indigene or not, and would attract a monthly allowance of 30,000 Naira only.

Comrade Okang assured the people of the  State that no politician, be it elected or appointed, would interfer with the distribution exercise and urged the Religious and Traditional Leadership from State, Local Government, Ward and Village levels, to work concientiously above board to justify the confidence reposed in them by both Government and the people.

"No Commissioner, no Special Adviser, no PDP, no APC members will be involved in the distribution of the COVID-19 Stimulus Response Packages to guard against politicization of the process and eventual beneficiaries. They can only serve as observers to the processes so that Governor Ayade's well meaning intentions are achieved," the Commissioner averred.

It will be recalled that the State Governor,Sir(Prof)Ben Ayade last Wednesday, performed the official flag-off of the distribution of the State's COVID-19 Stimulus Response package comprising different food items, including rice, yams, beans, garri, Semovita, Noddles, onions, soft drinks, water, among others, donated by some Corporate Organizations in the State, including Flour Mills Nigeria Ltd, PortHarcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED), 7up Bottling Company, Crunchies Fried Chicken Ltd, Coca Cola Bottling Company; with the rest coming from the State Food Bank Commission.

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