COVID-19 Lockdown: Crowd Besiege RTEAN Secretariat in Lagos for Palliatives

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Hundreds of the people on Tuesday besieged the Lagos State Secretariat of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) seeking palliatives to ease financial burdens occasioned by the COVID-19 lockdown.A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitored the situation, observed no fewer than 1000 residents of the RTEAN host community came for financial assistance and food items.

Among the people were pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, youths and adults queuing to receive assistance from the union.

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The security agents were controlling the crowd and preventing them from blocking the gate to the secretariat in Igando, a suburb of Lagos.

The crowd at the entrance of RTEAN secretariat in Lagos queuing to receive palliatives on Tuesday 

 

One of those in the crowd, Mr Saheed Ogunwande, an artisan, told NAN that the government needed to do more in helping the poor, a reason the people came to the association for help.

Ogunwande said he had not got any palliative from the government in the last three weeks of the lockdown, but the union had been very helpful by donating rice, garri and money.

“I came here when a friend told me that RTEAN distributed food and money on Sunday and Monday. I have been here still expecting something to feed myself and my family.”

Also speaking, Alhaja Sekinat Aremu, a nursing mother,  said: “I am here to find help for my husband and myself. It has been very hard coping with hunger this time.

“We are all waiting for the chairman of the union to come and assist us. We were told he is sharing food and money and that is why we are here.”

Aremu, who was sitting down in her space in the queue breastfeeding her little baby, said she had nothing at home to eat.

Mrs Titi Alabi, a trader, who said she benefited from the union’s palliative programmes on Monday, expressed gratitude to the chairman for his love for the masses.

 

The crowd at RTEAN Secretariat in Lagos on Tuesday

Reacting to the crowd, Alhaji Mohammed Musa, the State Chairman of RTEAN said: “The crowd is an indication of the high degree of poverty and hunger in the land. I have given out several bags of rice and money to them.

“They come every day to seek help here. The government alone cannot do it, let every well-meaning Nigerian help the masses at this difficult time.

“They come here every time because of the determination and the concern this association attached to the host community and members of the public. That is why they keep coming.

“We will continue to help as we also urge the government both the state and the federal to do more in the area of palliatives to reach every nook and cranny of the country.”

According to him, it took the intervention of the police to dispatch the crowd on Monday after the union finished distributing the rice and money.

Musa, who assured that the union under his leadership, would continue to assist its members and members of the public at difficult times, called on corporate bodies to rise up to the challenge of helping the masses.

NAN reports that some of the people came from Iyana Iba, Egbeda and other areas to collect palliatives from the union.

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