COVID-19 palliatives: PDP tackles FG over expired rice

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THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, accused the All Progressives Congress, APC, led Federal Government of donating expired bags of rice to Nigerians in the name of COVID-19 palliative.

This came as Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has directed that the expired rice should be rejected and replaced.

Also, the Oyo State government, yesterday, explained why it returned the expired rice.

The PDP, in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Diran Odeyemi said: “It is lack of initiative and poor judgement if the best method and option deployed by the Federal 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 poor Nigerians lived when they wanted their votes.

“It is irreconcilable if, in the name of saving the lives of Nigerians against the pandemic Coronavirus, the same Federal Government is giving Nigerians poisonous rice as a 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 items.

“This is, to say the least, a wicked and an ungodly act considering what would have been the consequence should the Oyo State government just go ahead with the distribution of the 1,800 bags of rice without checking it. This act is condemnable.”

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Ondo rejects expired rice

Similarly, Governor Akeredolu has directed that the expired rice should be rejected and replaced.

Reacting, the secretary of the palliative committee in Ondo State, Alex Kalejaye, who confirmed the development said: “We discovered that some of the bags are expired and not good for consumption at all, so we are separating them from the ones that are still manageable for consumption.

“After this, we will still take the ones that appear good to the laboratory, to test if they are fit for consumption.”

Why we rejected rice — Oyo govt

Also, the Oyo State government said it rejected the 1,800 bags of rice meant as COVID-19 palliatives by the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, because they were truly bad and unfit for consumption.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa. said: “No government that is worth its name would agree to serve its people with food items that are infested with weevils that are clearly visible to the eyes.

“On Friday, April 24, members of the Food Security sub-committee of the Oyo State COVID -19 Task Force embarked on an early morning meeting that lasted close to three hours.

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“The meeting was to review the report of the technical team that had been conducting tests on the 1,800 bags of 50kg rice presented to the state government by the Nigerian Customs Service. NCS, in respect of Federal Government’s COVID-19 palliatives.

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“The Committee eventually invited the media, after coming to a conclusion that more than a majority of the 1,800 bags were not fit for human consumption as they had been infested with weevils that freely move about on every of the bags kept at the storehouse in the Secretariat, Ibadan.

”The weevils were clearly noticeable as each of the warehouses were opened.

“Television cameras were allowed to film the bags of rice just to show the clear reason why the bags were being returned.”

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