There is disquiet in Ogun State over ongoing distribution of palliative rolled by the Federal Government to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
The state government had on September 1, 2023 flagged off the distribution of 300,000 10kg bags of rice to residents of the state.
Recall that as a palliative measure on the removal of fuel subsidy, the federal government had released N5billion and 3,000 bags of rice to each as part of the palliative distribution to citizens.
In Ogun, the government re-bagged the 3,000 bags into 300,000 bags in order to reach more households.
However, the ongoing distribution of the palliative has been marred by controversy and criticism as residents accused the government of poor distribution of the food item.
In a viral video on social media, the Chairman of a CDA, Shokeye estate whose name has not been ascertained vehemently rejected the bag of rice given to his community.
The CDA chairman in the video claimed the state government gave his community which comprised 147 houses 10 kg bags of rice as palliative.
The chairman described the palliative as “insulting”, saying “We are not in dire need; we are not beggars. This offering doesn’t even amount to a single bag of rice; it’s not even half of one.”
The Mowe Community Development Association (CDA) Chairman in Ogun State, Timothy Agboola, stated in a video that a bag of rice was given to his community.
Our correspondent also gathered that Oke Aro, Ibaragun ward of Ifo local government area of the state had received only 10 bags of the 10kg rice.
But, reacting the video which had since gone viral, the state government in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Lekan Adeniran, blamed the opposition party for alleged blackmail of the Dapo Abiodun-led administration.
The government alleged that some agents of the opposition had resorted to media blackmail to discredit the administration of Governor Abiodun.
Describing the perpetrators of the media blackmail as fifth columnists, the government noted that the federal government was unambiguous in saying the palliative is not meant for everybody but for the most vulnerable people 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.
In a swift reaction, the state chapter of PDP described the palliative as an “insult to the sensibilities of the people of the state”.
The PDP in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Akinloye Bankole said, “As the leading opposition in the Ogun state, the PDP has deliberately kept quiet in relation to the disbursement of the government’s palliative to the people, expecting that the Dapo Abiodun-led APC government would have outgrown its trademark of serial failure and irresponsibility.
“It, however, is very sad that the governor can come out, with his full chest to accuse us of blackmailing his rudderless govt. 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. The poor implementation of the palliatives distribution in Ogun is a brazen insult to the sensibilities of the good people of the state.”