By Yinka Kolawole
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government of allegedly donating contaminated and poisonous rice to Nigerians as COVID-19 palliatives.
PDP in a statement issued by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Prince Diran Odeyemi, accused the federal government of distributing ‘rotten rice’ seized by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) many years ago instead of using the money donated to Nigerians to buy food items as palliatives for them.
The party spokesperson also accused the APC-led government of foul play in the circumstances deployed by the government to rate and determine who is poor in Nigeria.
Odeyemi further stated that “it is also lack of initiative and poor judgement if the best method and option deployed by the government is to give financial succour only to Nigerians with less than N5,000 in their bank account or citizen who are not able to top their mobile phone with more than N100 whereas they know where the poor Nigerians lives when they want their votes.”
The PDP made reference to a widely circulated video clips where NCS had declared millions of seized bags of rice as unfit for human consumption going by the chemicals purportedly used by the smugglers in preserving them before bringing them to Nigeria, and as such, there was no basis for the federal government through the same agency to consider releasing such to Nigerians as palliatives.
“It is irreconcilable if in the name of saving the lives of Nigerians against the coronavirus pandemic, the same government is giving Nigerians poisonous rice as palliative; we wonder how a government that claims to value the lives of its people will openly toy with the idea of feeding them with expired food,” he stated.
Odeyemi, however, commended the vigilance of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and his team, and praised his resolution to reject the 1,800 bags of ‘the poisonous rice’ donated to the state government through the NCS, advising other state governments to emulate Makinde by returning their consignment rather than play politics with the lives of the citizens.
The PDP deputy national publicity secretary stressed that the Osun State case is still fresh in the memory where adulterated and expired bags of rice were distributed to the people in the name of palliative which has landed many people in the state in the hospital.
According to him, “This is to say the least, a wicked and an ungodly act considering what would have be the consequence should the Oyo State Government have gone ahead with the distribution of the 1,800 bags of rice without checking it. This act is condemnable.”