Akeredolu: Mimiko’s Sharing of Rice, Act of Electoral Fraud

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Says it reduces our people to a state of beggary

Gboyega Akinsanmi

Former President of Nigeria Bar Association (SAN), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu on Tuesday decried the decision of Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to distribute rice to the people of the state while his administration had been able to pay public servants salaries for six months.

Akeredolu, a governorship aspirant of All Progressives Congress (APC), added that Mimiko’s distribution of rice polling unit by polling unit at this critical time was nothing, but an act of electoral fraud.

He conveyed his displeasure in a statement his media office issued yesterday, noting that the decision of Mimiko’s administration to distribute such paltry food items “reduces our people to a pitiable state of beggary.

He, thus, said it was unfortunate that the Government of Ondo State “is now embarking on a grandiose charade designed to deceive the people. This is a government that has failed to meet its primary obligation. This is a government that has not paid public servants for six months.”

He explained that there was no justification for the distribution of the so-called Igbe-Ayo rice at the period the state “is preparing for governorship election and at the time the state is reeling under heavy debt burden. The state debt burden is now in the region of N85 billion or more.”

“What then justification sharing of food items if the government cannot meet its primary obligation? Our people are not asking for food items from any government. What they are simply asking for is a responsible and responsive government, which is currently lacking in the state.”

He described Mimiko’s administration as hypocritical government, saying it espoused the philosophy of pain as its directive principle. It is distributing rice to the people of the state polling unit by polling unit. We view this retrogressive and fraudulent act as most unfortunate in our state.

“We condemn the attempt by certain persons to reduce our people to a pitiable state of beggary. This is the time when all good people should rise to excoriate this government and call on relevant agencies to turn their searchlights on the activities of its functionaries.

“It is not too difficult to notice that most of these people are paranoid. Revelations next door, Ekiti, may be responsible. This disgraceful exercise has further exposed the level of privation of the state. Our people deserve more than this humiliation considering the huge allocations received for eight years. This is the lowest in the abyss of infamy.”

He, therefore, asked whether the untoward expression of prebendal preference meant “to celebrate the successful reign of deceit, chicanery, debauchery and systematic swindle of the people of the state for eight years.

“Who advised this government to toe this path of denigrating our people as a hungry and an unthinking mob? Are people asking this administration to explain why our people have become refugees in their own state? Is this empowerment or recompense for wages owed and for opportunities lost?

“Is this what our state has been turned into after almost eight years of recklessness? Is this the meaning of the promise of hope anchored on deception at inception of this aberrant political itinerary in the state?

“What manner of privation would have compelled husbands, wives and children to queue for “Rice Igbe Ayo” after the humongous allocations to the state for eight years? Will any person with a modicum of shame accept that this marks the lowest for our dear state in the annals of calamities which we have had the misfortune of experiencing since we came into existence?”