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The Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, has inaugurated a 38-member special committee on relief and palliatives to cushion the effect of the partial lockdown in the state occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

Inaugurating the committee at the new banquet hall of the Government House on Saturday, Mr Yahaya said the setting up of the relief panel was born out of the need to cushion the economic effects of COVID-19 on the people.

“There is no doubt that the special measures taken to tame the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has put our people in severe economic difficulties. We are fully aware of the hardship being experienced particularly by the daily earners whose living depends on their ability to go out and mingle with others. However, these are sacrifices that we must make to save lives,” he said.

Mr Yahaya said in order to ameliorate the economic hardship brought about by the restrictions imposed to control the COVID-19 pandemic, his administration is obliged to provide support and relief to the people most especially the vulnerable ones in the state. He added that his government will ensure that the palliatives reach their intended destinations.

“As people of faith, we are aware that trials and travails are integral part of our lives. We have an abiding faith in the fact that at the end of every difficulty comes some ease. I therefore enjoin us to persevere and continue to pray in order to win the fight against this invisible enemy,” Mr Yahaya was quoted as saying in a statement by his office.

He commend the residents of Gombe State for complying with the measures put in place to keep the state safe, appealing for more of such support and cooperation with government officials and security agencies in the enforcement of all the required guidelines and protocols.

While wishing the residents of the state who tested positive for COVID-19 a speedy recovery, Mr Yahaya paid tribute to health workers in the state, philanthropists and corporate organisations for their solidarity.

Gombe State has the fourth highest cases of coronavirus in Nigeria after Lagos, Kano and the FCT.

The Relief and Palliative Committee which is headed by the Emir of Gombe, Abubakar Shehu, is to amongst other things undertake a general situational assessment and identify the households/individuals that are eligible to receive the palliative support.

The committee is also mandated to develop an equitable distribution framework for delivering the relief support to the beneficiaries, and to ensure that relief items reach the deserving beneficiaries in all the 114 wards of the 11 local governments in the state.

The committee will also solicit for donation of palliative and other relief materials from the general public, private sector organisations, non-governmental organisations, and lhilanthropists to complement government’s efforts.

The chairman of the committee assured the governor that the committee will exhibit due diligence while carrying out its assignment.

He thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve in the committee and promised that the committee will ensure equity and justice.

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