We’re not distributing cars…Reps Spokesman, Ben Kalu cries out

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Hon. Benjamin Kalu

By Saminu Ibrahim

The Nigerian House of Representatives on Friday debunked insinuation that it has commenced distribution of cars to its 360 members.

Honourable Benjamin Kalu, spokesperson for the House of Representatives in a statement bemoaned that at a critical moment the country is battling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, a national daily could reportedly misinform the society.

Kalu described the story as unfortunate, saying not only has the National Assembly closed since Tuesday, 24th March in the wake of the pandemic, but most lawmakers are presently at their constituencies.

The spokesperson of the House wondered where the author of the fake news got the story from to misinform the citizenry.

The statement reads in full:

“It has come to the attention of the House of Representatives that a newspaper report on  Friday, March  27,  2020,  had insinuated  that  the Green  Chamber is  distributing official vehicles  for  the 360 members of  the House at  this critical moment  that  the country is battling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This story is rather unfortunate at this time that Nigeria and Nigerians are striving hard to address the pandemic that has forced the Federal Government, and even the various states’ governments, to take drastic measures.

“Not only has the National Assembly been closed since Tuesday the 24th of March in the wake of the pandemic, but most lawmakers are also in their constituencies.

“As a House, we are not unmindful of the mood of the nation at this critical time and are committed to ensuring the country stands united in these trying times.

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“It is out of that commitment that the House on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, introduced and  passed  the  Emergency  Economic  Stimulus  Bill,  2020.

Nigerian House of Representatives

 “It  is  on  record  that  the leadership of the National Assembly on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, about 24 hours after adjournment, engaged some top government officials in the Executive arm and approved the release of N6.5BN for the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), N10BN for Lagos state, as part of efforts to address the issue of Covid-19 pandemic.

“Despite  adjourning  for  two weeks  to  curb  the  spread  of  the  virus,  the House  had expressed  its  readiness  to  reconvene  at  any  time  to  consider  measures  aimed  at addressing the situation, including a review of the 2020 Appropriation Act, if need be.

“We  are  committed,  as  lawmakers,  to  join  hands  with  the  Executive  arm  to  take measures aimed at containing the pandemic and providing succour to Nigerians as a result of the economic shock necessitated by Covid-19 all over the world.

“We,  therefore,  urge  Nigerians to  disregard  the  newspaper  report  on  the  vehicles’ distribution as it is mischief taken too far. Just yesterday, the same paper on its back page, claimed that the house “closed shop and went on holiday” three weeks ago, a clear falsehood that is common knowledge.

“The House only shut down 3 days ago and not three weeks ago as falsely and mischievously reported.

“The paper chose to ignore all the house did within this time, the special session on addressing the high number of out of school children, intervening in the strike action by FCT health workers, etc.

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“We also call on Nigerians to join hands with governments at all levels in addressing the issue of Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s all adhere strictly to the preventive measures taken by the government” the statement concluded.

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