Reactions as senator donates musical instruments to churches

…as former commissioner says project was fulfilment of senator’s promise to God

Yenagoa—Mixed reactions have trailed the gesture by Chief Moses Cleopas, the Senator representing Bayelsa central, for donating musical instruments to churches in his district as part of the 2021 Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIPs).

Cleopas who distributed the musical instruments yesterday has come under immense criticisms from some quarters in his constituency and beyond.

Tamaratare Zuokumor, the deputy publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in Bayelsa state, expressed surprise over the project, saying it would have made more sense if the instruments were bought with the senator’s personal funds.

According to him, “It baffles me that a Senator in this 21st century would use funds meant for Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIPs) to buy musical instruments for churches in the senatorial district.

“Honestly, is this what the people from the senatorial district really need? Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have vented if he had made the donations with his salaries and allowances.”

Similarly, a Bayelsan who asked to stay anonymous, said the buying of instruments to churches as a constituency project adds no value to the lives of the people of the district.

He suggested that such funds should have been rather used to embark on interventionist programmes that would engage the youths of the constituency and cushion the effects of unemployment.

“It is just unfortunate that we play politics with everything. At this material time that we need to intentionally engage in things that can improve the economy of our state and actively engage our ever-growing youth population with enterprising ventures, skills, etc.

“We are still tolling the bandwagon style. How do church instruments improve the economy or well-being of the district?

“What happened to youth intervention schemes capable of generating micro employers of labour and contributors to the economic indices of the state,” he stated.

However, a constituent and former commissioner for youth Development, Ebipatei Apaingolo, said in a phone interview with our reporter that the project was a fulfilment of the senator’s promise to God during the campaigns.

He maintained that though the churches may be privately-owned, the owners are equal members of the central senatorial district who voted just like every other constituent.

He revealed that the buying of instruments to the churches is just one of many programmes lined up for the constituency by the senator.

In his words: “In as much as I share in their sentiments, I think even at that, they may not be 100% correct because churches are mostly privately-owned.

“This is because churches are part and parcel of the central senatorial district; they are owned by people, people that voted for the senator.

“Even the people that did not vote for him are members of the central senatorial district.

“The senator mentioned that look, This is my constituency and I am starting from the church as my constituency but there are lined up projects. Like yesterday he mentioned programmes like lighting up the rural communities using solar power and that is next in line.

“Then deliberate programmes geared toward developing the women. He also talked about substance abuse and how to reorient the minds of youths by organizing youth programmes all inside the Zonal Intervention Projects. recall that in 2018, Senator Gashom Bassey donated 200 bags of cement to the building of a mosque in his constituency in Calabar, Cross River.

Similarly in December, last year, the senator representing Bauchi South, Senator Lawal Yahya Gumau donated 27 Sharon buses to both Christian and Muslim associations in his constituency.

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