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Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya CON, has flagged-off another round of distribution of food palliative to less privileged and vulnerable persons across the 114 wards of the State.

During the flag-off ceremony held at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe, Governor Inuwa Yahaya disclosed that this round marks the 17th phase of palliative distribution since he took office, stating that not less than 214,500 beneficiaries across the 2988 polling units in the 114 wards of the 11 local governments of the state will be reached.

He said the food items are for distribution to both Muslims and Christians, currently observing Ramadan and Lent.

The Governor explained that the exercise which demonstrates the commitment of his Government to helping citizens of Gombe State during difficult times, remains an enduring attribute of his administration, emphasizing that there was no time of difficulty that his administration did not intervene to alleviate the suffering of the people.

“Today, we are commencing another round of palliative food distribution, with a renewed focus on reaching 214,500 beneficiaries. This gesture is not merely about providing sustenance; it is about ensuring that our people can observe their fast with dignity and gratitude, in accordance with the teachings of both our great religions, Islam and Christianity”, the Governor said.

“From the days of the Covid-19 pandemic to the recent removal of fuel subsidy, we have taken steps to alleviate the suffering of our people during their period of need”, added.

He further remarked that, “The removal of fuel subsidy last year, though a difficult yet necessary decision, brought untold economic hardship on the people. In our efforts to alleviate their suffering, we rolled out a palliative food distribution programme in August 2023 targeting 420,000 beneficiaries. In January this year, we continued this noble initiative by launching the second phase of the programme, reaching an additional 90,000 beneficiaries.”

Governor Inuwa Yahaya stated that his administration is aware of the challenges faced by residents, while assuring continued support whenever the need arises.

He called on leaders and good-spirited individuals to support the poor and vulnerable in their communities, especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan and the Christian Lent Season. He said, “I urge our people to be their brother’s keepers, by showing compassion and kindness in their interaction with one another.”

He urged the distribution committee to ensure that the food items reach the intended beneficiaries, and warned against act of sabotage, adding that such act would not be condoned.

In his remarks, the Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Palliative Distribution Committee, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Abubakar Inuwa Kari, highlightied that each of the 214,500 beneficiaries will get 1 bag of rice, 1 bag of maize, 1 bag of sugar and a catton of superghetti pasta.

“His Excellency, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya CON, has ensured a fair and equitable distribution of the palliative to all 2988 polling units, across all the 114 wards in all the 11 LGAs, taking into consideration women especially widows, persons with special needs, and other vulnerable members of the society. Each of the 214,500 beneficiaries will get 1 bag of rice, 1 bag of maize, 1 bag of sugar and a catton of Sperghetti”, the Deputy Governor said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, expressed gratitude to Governor Inuwa Yahaya for consistently addressing the needs of the people, crediting the distribution initiative to the governor’s generosity which he said was evident of his compassion and empathy, particularly amid the challenges posed by the global economic downturn.

In his votes of thanks on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Emir of Gombe, Alh. Dr Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III, CFR who is also the Chairman of Gombe State State Council of Emirs and Chiefs, said the exercise, which targets the most vulnerable persons of the society, will go along way in cushioning the effects of prevailing economic hardships especially at this sacred month of Ramadan. He urged other politicians, public office holders, and public spirited individuals to borrow a leaf from the Governor’s gesture.

A cross section of beneficiaries who spoke at the event, expressed their appreciation to Governor Inuwa Yahaya for consistently supplying relief materials to vulnerable members of the society, emphasizing that this support comes at a crucial time, particularly during the month of Ramadan, when it is most needed.

The event was attended by the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Usman Bello Kumo, the Speaker of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Rt.Hon. Abubakar Muhammad Luggerewo, the Chief Judge of Gombe State, the Grand Khadi, APC Chairman, Traditional Rulers and other top government functionaries.