The Urhobo Political Movement ; a socio-political umbrella of well versed Deltans of Urhobo extraction, at home and in the diaspora, berates the federal government for the exclusion of Deltans from the conditional cash transfer programme, insisting that there was no justification whatsoever for such a condemnable act. Moreso, when Sadiya Umar Farouk, the Hon. Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has not been able to justify this vexatious exclusion.
The Urhobo Political Movement stated that at the twilight of the announcement of the programme, the leaders of the group alongside other community leaders swung into action, compiling names of vulnerable and poorest of the poor Deltans believing that it was the birth of a new Era. The group noted that as at today, it is still trying to appease the anger of Deltans who strongly feel they have been used to score a cheap political point!
In a communique signed by Chief Obiuwevbi Ominimini (PhD) and Barr. David Ekuetafia it’s National Chairman and National Secretary respectively and made available to pressmen, the UPM noted that in 2018, Dr Temitope Sinkaiye, the National Coordinator at the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) in an interview with MAKINDE OLUWAROTIMI, spoke on the purpose of the NCTO, how it works among other things wherein she said the conditional cash transfer program was also known as household uplifting programme. “It is known as a household-uplifting program because it is targeted at the poorest homes; it is actually targeted at the bottom of the poor. When we talk of poverty, we have different categories, referring to those that cannot tackle malnutrition in their homes. Government looked at this and decided to come with a program that would help this set of people to start doing things for themselves. The community identifies the poorest of the poor and they are being supported with N5, 000.00 monthly to enhance their living standards. So, these are the issues that have to be addressed and the government is not stopping at the N5, 000, rather, the government has gone ahead to build their capacity so that after meeting their daily feeding requirements, they will be able to do something valuable for themselves and even contributing to national development. These are the key components of the social investment program of the present administration”.
The Urhobo Political Movement had noted that this laudable programme has become a mirage to Deltans despite Delta State huge contribution to the national coffer.
The Urhobo Political Movement said that on April 16,2020 the
Federal Government in a worrisome manner announced the exclusion of Lagos, Delta, Others from the Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme
Accordingly the news read that Lagos, Delta, Borno, Ogun, and Ebonyi were conspicuously excluded from the list of states currently benefiting from the federal government’s N20, 000 conditional cash transfer scheme to the poorest and vulnerable households in the country to cushion the hardship posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. No cogent reasons were proffered. This to us at UPM is completely unacceptable and smarks off a sense of injustice and unlawful exclusion. We therefore call on the Federal Government to correct this anomaly or omission in other to give the poorest of the poor and the vulnerable in Delta State the right to moderate living and sustenance!
The Urhobo Political Movement reiterated that it is a common news that Delta is one of the states hit by the Covid 19 pandemic which has led to the lock down of the state for weeks running now. According to the group, this has adversely affected the means of livelihood and thus, aggravated the poverty level of the State. It noted that even the hitherto ‘rich people’ have become vulnerable as businesses and work places are closed. This has also affected alms giving to the poorest of the poor by well meaning Deltans. The group noted that no better time to extend the programme to Deltans than now so as to avoid more ‘Hunger virus’ victims than ‘Covid 19 victims’.