‘When hunger is satiated, there is almost nothing left to tag as poverty”, thus goes a popular Yoruba adage which acknowledges the indispensability of food to human existence and of course, survival. Similarly, it is globally believed that a hungry man is an angry man
This piece believes that the above adage and parable were responsible for the Gboyega Oyetola led state government in Osun’s gesture on Wednesday April 8, 2020 to flag off the distribution of 6,020 bags of rice across the 3,010 polling units. This was supposed to place the state side-by-side with its responsively responsible counterparts nationwide in the provision of food materials for the poor and other vulnerable residents of the state due to the total lockdown which he declared to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus also called COVID-19.
Rice was prominent among the food materials distributed to the innocent people of the state by agents of the state government. This particular food item was the centre of controversy as some supposed beneficiaries decried the poor quality of the rice being distributed to them.
Residents of Osogbo Ward 4 (Units 18, 19 & 20), Baruwa Estate, Surulere Unit 10, Odi-Olowo and Ofatedo, Osogbo, Osun State capital among others used several unprintable names to describe the Governor and his government over the development, urging him to abort the lockdown order for them to fend for themselves.
Receiving the news and its controversies, Governor Gboyega Oyetola expressed his dissatisfaction and promised to deal with the eventual culprit through a statement issued by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode.
“We assure our citizens that upon unraveling what went wrong, the State Government will take necessary punitive measures against the erring Supplier(s) or Vendor(s), including de-listing such vendor from the Government’s directory and even proclaiming a disclaimer to that effect.” A part of Egbemode’s statement read, noting that all the over 6,000 bags of rice were bought from dealers within the state.
Despite government’s timely response, it is pathetic to realize that it is yet to name the supplier(s) or vendor(s) of the conflicting adulterated rice after over a week. Does this means that the unknown supplier(s) or vendor(s) supplied what the government used tax payers’ money to procure?
It is unfortunate that most residents of the state like a sub-set of the Nigerian population who do not keep record of events especially socio-political matters are beginning to forget the so called adulterated rice and have launched struggle to have their share of the ongoing distribution of yet another rice and other food items from the state government.
Since it would be unfair to concluded that Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola intentionally bought adulterated rice for distribution as COVID-19 palliative, would it be inappropriate to suggest that Mr. Governor is doing some cover ups or being scared of naming and shaming those behind the act? At least silence they say is consent.
Governor Gboyega Oyetola is hereby implored through this piece to keep his promise of exposing and punishing whosoever is responsible for the shameful act as part of his pledge while assuming office in 2018, to be loyal to the people of Osun State.
Mr. Governor must be firm as a leader that he is especially in preventing the matter from being swept under the carpet by sympathizers of the yet-to-be-identified suppliers of the low quality rice in order to block saboteurs from dismantling his government.
NOTE: If this is swept under the carpet successfully, the perpetrators would be happy to wreck more havoc against the government and the innocent people of Osun.
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