…. says committee expresses readiness to distribute immediately on receipt
The leadership of the Osun Food and Relief Committee on
Monday revealed that it is now ready to receive delivery of the 40, 332 units
of 10kg bags of rice for onward distribution to the people of the State.
This is even as it expressed readiness to commence the
distribution of the expected CACOVID rice on delivery.
The Committee also debunked the insinuations making
the rounds that the State government deliberately hoarded the food and relief
materials donated by CACOVID, meant to cushion the effects of the ravaging
The Committee noted that contrary to speculations, it
has not received any rice component, just as it displayed the letter from
CACOVID which had absolved the State of any wrongdoing in the looted
palliatives, before the journalists, while addressing a Press Conference, in
Osogbo, on Monday.
The Secretary to the Committee, Alhaji Adebayo Jimoh,
disclosed these during the joint press briefing held at the Press Centre,
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun State Council, Osogbo.
CACOVID is the Coalition Against Covid-19 established by the
private sector task force in partnership with the Federal Government, the
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation with the
sole aim of combating the effects Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Jimoh, who denounced the insinuations that the State
deliberately hoarded the looted palliatives, said the letter from CACOVID was
enough vindication to validate the State Government and the Committee’s earlier
positions that they never hoarded the palliatives before they were looted.
He explained that the looted palliatives were not meant for
distribution as at the time they were looted by miscreants who burgled the
warehouse in Ede during the EndSARS protest.
“As a committee, we have no mandate to distribute the
looted palliatives as at the time they were looted because we were awaiting the
directive of the donors through the CACOVID committee.
“As you all know, the palliatives under our supervision
were distributed accordingly during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic,
but for the CACOVID palliatives, the State was asked to wait for further
instruction before flagging off the distribution.
“As at the time the food items were looted, the donors
had not delivered the rice component which was part of the reasons we were
directed not to distribute.
“There was a letter signed and dated 28th September, 2020 by the Commissioner for Commerce, Dr. Bode Olaonipekun, and my humble self to this effect, demanding the release and supply of the rice component of the palliatives”, Jimoh added.
He however said the State was now ready to take delivery
and distribute the expected rice component once supplied as
modalities had been put in place to ensure smooth and equitable distribution to
the beneficiaries throughout the State.
Speaking on the proposed framework for the distribution of
the expected rice component of the CACOVID palliatives, the Commissioner for
Commerce, Industries, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Dr. Bode Olaonipekun, said
the rice would be taken directly to the beneficiaries on delivery.
He said there would be no room for warehousing, adding that
adequate security would be put in place to avoid the breakdown of law and
“We are not going to warehouse the expected rice
component as strategy is going to take the form of direct supply for onward
“Each place of the distribution clusters will provide
trucks for immediate takeoff of the rice and there will be a monitoring and
evaluation team, which will include members of the CACOVID team, Civil Society
Organisations; Youths and students, traditional rulers; religious leaders; and
market women”, he added.
The Commissioner for Local Government and
Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Adeleke Adebayo and Chief Press Secretary to the
Governor, Ismail Omipidan, were also at the press briefing.