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October 15, 2023
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Ogun Govt alleges blackmail by opponents over palliative distribution

The Ogun State government on Sunday, expressed concern about the continuous attempt by opposition lawmakers to dismiss efforts by the state and federal governments to provide relief to disadvantaged people as a result of the recent subsidy removal.

The state government urged Nigerians to be aware of politicians who have been going around trashing palliative measures put in place to help the poorest of the poor.

In response to recent internet videos, the Ogun State government claimed in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, that some opposition operatives have resorted to media blackmail to defame Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration.

The statement added that the federal government was clear in stating that the palliative is not meant for everyone, but for the most vulnerable members of society, and labelled those who engaged in media blackmail as fifth columnists.

The statement said that some fifth columnists are disseminating lies intended to undermine the continuing, well planned distribution around the state, which reeks of ill blood and nefarious purposes. 

According to the statement, Governor Abiodun’s administration has received praise both at home and abroad for how effectively and carefully it has handled the distribution of palliatives.

“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 ,” 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 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 Shokeye community through other stakeholders. Sadly, the chose to play dirty politics on the social media for which his political party is known for.

“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.

According to the statement, another CDA leader in the same Obafemi Owode Local Governments, Mr. Timothy Agboola, who made similar remarks afterwards repudiated what he stated. 

Mr. Agboola, it was later discovered, shared many bags of rice throughout his community, when the one entrusted to him was intended for only one disadvantaged family. 

The LGA responded that all groups were represented equally at the stakeholders meeting and committee established by the government to monitor the distribution of the palliative throughout wards, villages, communities, and towns within the local government. 

Traditional rulers, Baales, religious bodies, Community Development Associations, youngsters, security agencies, market men and women, and People Living with Disability are among the groups represented. 

“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 called 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 concluded .

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