By Ozioma Dibie
Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) , has called on the government and other organizations to fight crime by assisting the less privileged people with palliatives.
National President / Lagos State Chairman of RTEAN, an umbrella body of transport owners, Musa Muhammed, who spoke yesterday in his office, at Igando ,Lagos ,while distributing palliative to members of the association and over 500 members of the public ,said:” We understand that a hungry man is an angry man and a hungry man can do anything to survive. Nigerians are hardworking people, but because of the lockdown and restrictions of movement to curtail the spread of COVID-19 ,people cannot move around ,not to talk of going to work. Many have exhausted their food stocks, because most of them including my members work hand to mouth .We are worried that if hunger persists, many will go into crime.
” We have decided to fight crime with palliative .We cannot serve everybody, but we have to do the little we can . We understand that the government cannot do it alone ; that is why we have been distributing food items ,such as rice ,garri and beans to our members and members of the public. Our men are not working for now we dont want the to be hungry
,so we put the members of the public in our shoes .From our savings, we have decided to give back to the society.
” For instance ,the Federal Government and the Lagos State government gave us palliative ; bags of rice and garri,but I told my members that we should not be selfish,so we called out to the public to come and share with us and that is what we are doing today by giving back to the society. We have been doing this since the lockdown began and we shall continue to give out even after the lockdown ‘.
” I want to thank the governments for assisting our members and for giving palliative to members of the public ,but like Oliver Twist , they should do more to help the public ,because they are going through hell. Assisting the public with palliative will definitely reduce pressure on our security agents in the fight against crime .If Nigerians are sure of two square meals, I know they will not go into crime.
” I am calling on well meaning Nigerians ,corporate and private organizations to emulate what we have been doing ,because you are not only saving lives ,but you are obeying God’s command to give to the needy ; you are at the same time fighting crime and giving the public the courage to obey the lockdown orders .Please, whether you are a Christian or a Muslim, the holy books commanded us to give .Whatsoever you do,it is not to take glory ,but to save humanity. Fight crime with palliative ,because if the masses are hungry ,they will go into crime and you may be vulnerable “.
He advised the members of the public to obey the government orders of sit-at-home and social distancing to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus and to shun crime:” We understand that there is hunger in the land ,but you cannot say that because there is hunger ,you should put laws into your hands and start harassing people to give you money .The people that you are harassing are also going through the same problems. Don’t forget that the law enforcement agents are there to arrest criminals and prosecute them .I urge you to be patient for a while”.