EPIA in a Press Release, described these groups as the real enemies of the Nigerian people, who only think of their personal and business welfare, without any regard for the helpless Nigerians who have been forced out of livelihood due to the lockdown.

The Release, signed by its President, Dr Omogiade Enoyiogiere Edokpolo accused the donors of having no sense of welfarism for Nigerians who are their real source of prosperity, but quickly donate to the government just to buy business favours. It equally said that the lockdown would have been an opportunity for them to affect lives by giving back to the society, but that they have shown their true nature by not putting Nigerians into consideration.

The statement read;

Those of you donating millions and billions to the Federal Government to fight Coronavirus, did they tell you they don’t have money to fight the pandemic?

“You do not donate because you care about the welfare of the people but because you want to secure your position with the federal government! Don’t insult our intelligence with ‘I donate this to the FG to fight COVID-19’.

“People that have banked with you all their lives, how come you are not giving back to them to say, take this ten thousand naira as support for this trying time as a loyal customer?

“How come you are giving to a government that you know does not care? The rich hate the poor in this country, that’s just the summary of it. I have just been thinking, what sector is making provisions for the poor? Not the government, not the billionaires, not the pastors, not the banks. This is how much hatred they have for the people who contribute all the money to them.

“What will it cost an average Otedola to pay N5000, or N1000 each to Nigerians to cushion the effect of the pandemic? Why are you giving it to Government? To further your business relevance? As far as I am concerned, they are giving nothing because they know themselves that the government don’t care for the people. Meanwhile, the same government have put the people in debt by taking loans.

“They should have found a way to give back to the people, just a little piece just to show that you care. If you can’t do that at this time, you are wicked.

“The poor should realize it now that it’s the rich that is their enemy and stop all these religious fights and strife. Is there any rich man who can stay without food to eat? Can a pastor stay hungry? Can they stand it? Because they have never done it, they don’t know the impact of an empty stomach, that’s why they cannot put their shoes of any average poor man.

“If you want to help with funds to help fight the Coronavirus, go to your state, speak with your governor, select a general hospital, upgrade it with the best equipment and the best medical practitioners, help them set up a medical database centre too, then massively help test your people, and treat those that might have been infected!

“You are donating to the federal government to fight Coronavirus, but you forget that the people, their jobs, their businesses and all sources of livelihood are totally on lockdown. Nobody is asking how the poor and the average will survive during the lockdown. There are many Nigerians who can’t eat if they don’t go out to hustle daily, but they are forced to stay at home in hunger and want.

“In other countries, the government is paying its citizens to ensure they are comfortable in the lockdown. They are caring for everyone, the employed, the business people and the unemployed.

“As banks, Nigerians have patronised you to the fullest, but instead of showing care to these ordinary Nigerians, you are giving billions to the federal government that have done little or nothing to affect these lives.

“As churches, you literally grew on the wings of common man. How have you given back to the common Nigerian?
Instead of thinking of a way to protect them in this time of trial, you are bent on collecting more tithes from them. You are wicked!

“So many business men and women who are billionaires today grew because every Nigerian decided to patronise them. They have grown and forgot its the little drops from these peasant and common Nigerian that has made you the mighty ocean you are today. You are all quickly running to donate billions to a government that have not asked for it. But you know that Nigerians are hungry, and sick, and do not have electricity, since the government won’t provide it too. Hustlers and business people need you now, and this is the time to give back to them directly, not through the government.

“If you want to impact on the people, go to them just as they come to you to patronise you and your businesses, and churches, and banks in times of business.

“You can pay a percentage of money into their accounts, you can credit them with airtime, you can give free data or TV subscriptions, you can distribute food, clothes and other things. This will surely make a direct impact on the people. We are in an emergency, and must be treated like an emergency situation.

“I call on the Government, billionaires, banks churches and mosque leaders to understand that we are faced with two types of virus and they are:
1 hunger virus
2 Corona virus, but the more deadly is hunger virus. Contribute to the welfare of your citizens today to avoid an uprising in Nigeria.

“Churches and mosques should provide what I call offering or contributions tax return to their followers and have mercy on the people.

“Government should provide a bailout measure for the people and small businesses to avoid a great depression season that can be worse than Corona virus”, he said.

Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA), an Organisation designed to promote the empowerment of all Edo indigenes

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