Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai yesterday backed out of moves to stop sharing of Ramadan food in the state.
It would be recalled that El-Rufai had last week told leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, who visited him at the Government House in Kaduna, that his government had resolved to discontinue the sharing of Ramadan rice and other commodities on the basis that government should not involve in religious activities and because the government was broke.
The governor in a statement signed by his special assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, in Kaduna yesterday, said the decision was because the religious feeding and sharing of the Ramadan goodies were fraudulent.
According to the statement, “The Kaduna State government last week announced its decision to discontinue the practice of distributing food items and gifts during Ramadan.
“While hosting religious leaders last week, the governor, Malam Nasir El Rufai explained that Kaduna State is broke and needs to tighten its finances to serve the people better, in a manner that befits their massive support for change.
“He made it clear that the state government will no longer tolerate the siphoning of government resources in the guise of gifts to prominent politicians, public servants and famous figures, or the feeding of indigent persons during religious occasions; neither will it be involved in sponsoring people.
“The governor went further to explain that the government has stopped issuing contracts to so called ‘super’ politicians to supply foods, beverages and other essentials as Ramadan gifts across the state because the process is entirely fraudulent with nothing tangible to show for it, except playing to the gallery to score cheap political goals and fraudulently enrich a few individuals. It is a known fact that the so-called feeding of the poor during Ramadan is a window created to loot the public treasury with impunity using religion as a cover.
“Findings have revealed how it is mainly prominent politicians and influential personalities that benefit from the Ramadan and Christmas gifts instead of the so-called ‘poor.’ Food stuffs bought with public resources are distributed to prominent government officials and other personalities while the poor in whose name those foods are procured queue in droves for crumbs and are constantly subjected to several forms of hardships and degrading circumstances after such sham gestures. The hundreds of millions of naira involved have not translated into visible feeding points in Kaduna.”

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