A well-intended gesture by President Bola Tinubu to support Osun people during the festive period may have been mismanaged by top leaders of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, it has been learnt.
President Tinubu had ordered the Controller-General of the Nigerian Customs, Mr Bashir Adewale Adeniyi to supply 5000 bags of rice to two former Governors in the state, Chief Bisi Akande and Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, and another APC chief, Professor Olu Aina, for distribution to the Osun population as part of effort to cushion the impact of the economy on citizens.
The intervention, according to an insider, was expected to have much impact on the people and reduce pressure on them. Mr. Bashir complied with the order and provided the rice as instructed.
It was gathered that Oyetola received the lion’s share of the 5,000 bags of rice as he took delivery of 3,800 bags of rice while Chief Akande and Prof Aina shared the balance of 1,200 bags of rice equally at 600 bags each.
The 5000 bags of rice were delivered to the trio a few days before Christmas, a person familiar with the matter informed this reporter.
But nearly two weeks after the receipt of a huge load of rice, they have either not acknowledged the President for the release of the rice nor did the distribution go the way he (Tinubu) had intended. It is still unclear what happened to the load of rice received by the trio as there is no evidence of their distribution.
“What Asiwaju (Tinubu) had in mind was to ease the pain of the people in this tough economy and released 5,000 bags of rice to be shared with Osun people through Chief Bisi Akande, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and Professor Olu Aina,” the source which does not want his name in print disclosed.
“The rice came through the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs, Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, who incidentally is from Osun state, and it was to go to people irrespective of faith, party, and groups. But what we saw is disappointing as the intention of the President was circumvented.”
It would be recalled that a few days before Christmas, supporters of Oyetola publicized a table of distribution of bags of rice and cows to party members across the state. However, a knowledgeable source informed this reporter that the rice included in the Oyetola festive package for party members was actually provided by President Tinubu for Osun citizens.
The source added that Oyetola who should have been at the forefront of projecting the effort of President Tinubu to ameliorate the suffering of Nigeria, chose to use the intervention of the President to prop his political fortune in Osun State.
“What is more disturbing thing is that, he did not distribute what was actually allocated to him. Because, if you calculate what was in the table his supporters were pushing as distributed to LGs and area offices, it is less than 1,500 bags of rice. There are still more that he will need to explain who got them and how they were reached,” he noted.
The source said there is still a lot of uncertainty around the 1,200 bags supplied to Chief Akande and Prof Aina as no one can tell actually who they benefited.
“No one can say who benefited from the bags of rice that the two elders (Baba Akande and Aina) got. Oyetola already included on his list that he gave elders in each LGs and the two Babas cannot say the same elders got the 1,200 bags with them.
“I just hope they can be fearful to the President and take out the rice wherever they kept them and give it out to the people they were meant for as people are going through tough times and support like the rice distribution will go a long way to help,” he stressed.