The Oyo State Government kept up that the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde could never bamboozle the individuals, asking individuals from people in general to disapprove the charges and falsehood being spread via online media.
The state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters and director of the Food Security and Palliative Committee of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, Chief Bayo Lawal, expressed these at the end of the week, including that the state is set to continue with the fifth round of palliative dispersion, which he noted was eased back down because of the cross country fights.
An announcement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, cited Lawal as clarifying that the packs of rice plundered at the private warehouse in Ibadan were not the property of Oyo State.
He said that Oyo State was not provided rice as a feature of the palliatives from CACOVID and that it didn’t distribute rice as a component of the palliatives distributed to the individuals up until this point.
Adisa, in the statement, clarified that some gangsters had mixed up a private warehouse belonging to a company that works in Ibadan, as belonging to the state government and had attacked the property and carried away packs or rice, which they mistakenly thought were being hoarded by the government.
He stated: “One, investigations at the moment eventually reveal that there was nothing that concerns the Oyo State government in that warehouse.
“Two, the warehouse belongs to a private individual who operates in Oyo State and was given a legitimate agreement by the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID),a coalition of private organizations that have been helping the states and the federal government to fight COVID-19, to supply them to a specific number of states.
“So, it was the rice that he procured on his own for repackaging that was mistaken to be Oyo State’s, that hoodlums looted.”
In his own explanation, the Commissioner expressed that the state government couldn’t store what it didn’t have, explainig that CACOVID only supported the state with cash, medical items and food items including Indomie and Spaghetti.
According to Lawal, the looted palliatives at the private warehouse, which consist of mainly packaged rice, did not belong to Oyo State, adding that the remaining items meant for the next round of palliatives in the state are stored at government’s designated warehouses.
He said that none of the state’s food items is stored outside the Secretariat.
He said: “It was really a big shock earlier this morning [Friday morning] when I started receiving calls alleging that food items meant for distribution to the masses were being hoarded. But when I enquired further, I was told that the bags of rice were looted in one of our warehouses in Ibadan, in Lagelu Local Government, to be precise. But I said it was not possible, because we don’t even have any warehouse outside the secretariat.
“All the palliatives given to us were stored in our warehouse within the secretariat, not outside. Whatever is being circulated that Oyo State was hoarding CACOVID-donated rice isn’t right and baseless allegation. Though the Coalition wrote and promised to give us 62 trailer loads of rice, up till today, 23rd of October, 2020, we have not taken delivery of a solitary sack of rice from them. We discusses it at an ongoing exco meeting and the Oyo State Governor knows about this as well. Thus, we don’t maintain any warehouse outside the secretariat.
“We want the general public to realize that however CACOVID gave us indomie, spaghetti, there was nothing similar to rice. We are still expecting their rice up till today.
“The rice, which was looted,belonged to a private company that happens to be a CACOVID vendor for other states. The supply comes from different vendor just like our indomie comes from Lagos and the supplier is from Lagos. There are different items as well. Some even comes from Edo State. In this way, I am not surprised that we have a portion of their vendors here as well, however the bags of rice were intended for different states, not Oyo State.
“Along these lines, general society ought to know that the claims and all the data being circled about the state on the web are not right. We have the enthusiasm of our kin on a basic level and we even utilized our own money. In the event that we can utilize our cash to guarantee that during the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals got palliatives from their administration, for what reason would it be advisable for us to deny them if there is any gift from any association? For what reason would it be advisable for us to deny them of the advantage of getting a charge out of it?
“We are honest residents. We didn’t accepting rice. Among the things we gave out, the Oyo State Government didn’t give rice. All that we bundled were garri, sweet potato flour, beans, things we produce locally. We didn’t accepting rice by any stretch of the imagination. Things being what they are, in the event that we didn’t accepting rice and CACOVID that has been helping didn’t flexibly us rice, where is the rice currently originating from?
“This falsehood circulating statement about the Oyo State Government hoarding rice work of the opposition to damage the reputation of the government. They are the ones spreading the rumour that the Oyo State Government is hoarding rice. You can’t hoard what you don’t process.”
Prior, the CACOVID vendor whose warehouse was vandalized, Mr. Alabi Femi Adeoye, decried the untoward situation, expressing that the looted rice at the warehouse were intended to be supplied to Abia, Cross-Rivers, Plateau and Taraba states.
He said that his company, which has been operating in Oyo State in the past five years, lost milions of Naira to the attack.
“Oyo State Government was not part of the states we were supply by CACOVID,” he stated, explaining how the looters swooped on his warehouse, vandalized it and carried away the food items especially the 1,850 bags of rice he procured.
He stated: “On 30th of September, they(CACOVID) contacted us if we could handle the supply of rice for them. We have an enthusiasm for farming. We are farmers and we have a good network with every state. We revealed to them we could deal with it, which we were able to get the purchase order.
“After that, we instructed our team to manage it from Ibadan, simply because we believe we can also generate revenue in Ibadan and create more jobs. We have farmers in Ibadan and it has been beneficial for us. And we have been able to employ a good number of the indigenes to manage our farms for us. In this way, these are the reasons why they gave us the work.
“A week ago, we started this task to supply yet, incredibly, Ibadan was not captured as part of the states we should supply. We were asked to supply Abia, Cross-Rivers, Plateau and Taraba States. Other agents were given different states. I am certain one of the farmers was given Oyo State. In this way, we were asked to bring our rice from Kebbi and a part of Niger State.
“We have been operating in Ibadan for a long while. We have two warehouse in Ibadan; there is one on Iwo Road and the other is at Lagelu, which we have been overseeing for like five years. We have never witnessed an attack like this since we have been so good to the community.Recently, we attempted to construct about 500metres of road for them. Thus, I was surprised to see this sort of attack.
“However, our facility was vandalized and food items worth millions of Naira were carried away. This is certifiably not a major worry to us, however we accept that these food items are intended for Nigerians yet we couldn’t get them to the appropriate quarters. Notwithstanding, property that was vandalized was worth milloin of naira.”
He expressed gratitude toward men of the ‘Operation Burst,’ he said, helped to stop the total destruction of his company.