Sunday, April 14, 2024

Ogun government accuses opposition of blackmail over palliatives’ distribution

The Ogun State government on Sunday raised the alarm over the ongoing attempt by opposition politicians to rubbish efforts by the state and the Federal Governments to provide relief to the vulnerable people to cushion the effects of the recent subsidy removal.

The state government warned Nigerians to be wary of the antics of such politicians who have been going about to rubbish the palliative programmes put in place meant to cater for the poorest of the poor.

Reacting to recent online videos in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Lekan Adeniran, the Ogun State government said some agents of the opposition have resorted to media blackmail to discredit the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun.

Describing the perpetrators of the media blackmail as fifth columnists, the statement 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.

The statement noted that it smacks of bad blood and evil intentions for some fifth columnists to be spreading falsehoods targeted at discrediting the ongoing well-coordinated distribution across the state.

According to the statement, the government of Governor Abiodun has been severally lauded at home and abroad for the efficient and prudent manner the sharing of the palliatives has been handled.

“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 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,” he said

The statement expressed surprise at the man’s claim that the bag of rice he displayed was meant for his entire CDA.

“This man is aware that the bag of rice is meant for ONE vulnerable family in the community, and not for all the residents. It was sent to him as the chairman for onward transfer to a vulnerable widow in his community.

“But, instead of ensuring that it gets to the intended beneficiary, he chose to play politics with the palliative, exposing himself as the destructive opposition agent that he actually is.

“This man’s expression of disappointment is against the Federal Government’s clear instructions on the palliatives. He clearly got it wrong thinking that the government was ready to provide enough bags of rice that would go round every family in his community. It is also obvious that he was out on a hatchet job.

“It has also been established by some members of his community that more bags of rice were sent to other beneficiaries in the Shokeye community through other stakeholders. Sadly, the man chose to play dirty politics on the social media for which his political party is known.

“Need we tell him and his sponsors that they cannot secure the political victory they could not win at the polls and at the tribunal by telling lies and half-truths on the social media as regards the well thought out palliative arrangement in the state,” the statement added.

The statement recalled that another CDA boss in the same Obafemi Owode Local Governments, Timothy Agboola, who had made similar remarks later, retracted all he said.

Agboola, it would be recalled, later discovered that many bags of rice were shared in his community while the one given to him was meant for just one vulnerable family.

A rejoinder by the LGA said all groups were equally represented at the stakeholders meeting and committee set up by the government to monitor the distribution of the palliative across wards, villages, communities and towns within the local government.

The groups include, traditional rulers, Baales, religious body, Community Development Associations, youths, security agencies, market men and women and People Living with Disability, among others

“At no time or place has any community or group been given one 10kg bag of rice as their share of the relief materials as displayed by the CDA chairman.

“We call on the general public to disregard the content of the video and others in circulation. They are not the true reflection of the palliatives sharing mechanism.

“Governor Dapo Abiodun is doing everything possible to bring succour to the generality of our people, including the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses and electric powered tricycles and motorcycles to reduce the cost of transportation to the barest minimum in the state,” the statement said.

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