The Ogun State Government and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are trading words over controversies surrounding the distribution of rice palliatives in the state.
since the state government commenced the distribution of rice donated by the Federal Government to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy, leaders of two communities have rejected the gesture in viral videos.
In a recent video circulating on the social media, an aged man, who identified himself as the Chairman of Shokeye CDA, rejected the 10kg bag of rice given to his community.
The man claimed that the state government gave his community which comprised 147 houses a 10 kg bag of rice as palliative.
He described the palliative as “insulting”, adding: “We are not beggars.”
Reacting, the state government in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Lekan Adeniran, blamed the opposition party for the videos.
The government alleged that some agents of the opposition had resorted to media blackmail to discredit the Abiodun administration
While saying those behind the media were fifth columnists, the Abiodun government noted that the Federal Government has stated it unambiguously that the palliative was meant for only the most vulnerable in the society.
“Let it be recalled that Governor Abiodun made it clear to everybody involved in sharing the palliatives that it must get to the intended beneficiaries.
“But in spite of the painstaking effort of the government in to ensure that the palliatives get to the right beneficiaries promptly, some people are unrelenting in their bids to tar the administration with negative brushes for reasons not beyond politics.
“This explains the case of the man in a recent video who claims to be a Community Development Association chairman somewhere in the state. Taking to social media and throwing cautions to the wind, he betrayed the posture of a man out to do mischief so as to score cheap political gains,” the government said.
But in a swift reaction, the PDP in Ogun State expressed surprise that the State government could blame the opposition for the videos being shared online about the palliatives.
The PDP in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Akinloye Bankole, said as the leading opposition in Ogun, it had deliberately kept quiet since the disbursement of the palliatives commenced, expecting that the APC government “would have outgrown its trademark of serial failure and irresponsibility”.
Bankole, however, said it was sad that the government could come out to accuse the PDP of blackmail.
“For the umpteenth time, the statewide rejection of the palliative by members of CDs remains a valid confirmation of how unpopular the government has become over the years,” he said.
The PDP spokesman described the “poor implementation” of the palliatives distribution as “a brazen insult” to the sensibilities of the people of Ogun State.
According to him, it shows the government was bereft of all creative ideas for running a responsible government.
The opposition party further asked the government to seek help immediately, and deliver an unreserved apology to the people of Ogun State.