It seems to be a season of missing things in the country following a series of wild animals swallowing huge sums of money and now bags of rice seem to have also gone missing in Edo State.
Yesterday, the Edo State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, insisted that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration must account for the missing 4, 781 bags of rice of the 6,822 approved for the Internally Displaced Persons Camp at Uhogwa in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state by the Federal Government.
It will be recalled that the Comptroller of Customs, Col Hammed Ali (retd), in compliance with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that all perishable goods seized by the Customs should be donated to the IDP camps, allocated the consignments from various Customs warehouses across the country to the IDP camp in Benin City.
According to reports, other items donated to the IDP camps in the country were vegetable oils and used shoes.
However, Edo State chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih while receiving defectors from All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and Freedom Foundation Movement, FFM, into the party, described the rice scandal as unbelievable, insisting that the governor must account for the missing bags of rice.
In its reaction, the state government said that all the bags of rice and other items like shoes, apart from the ones that were damaged in storage before they were allocated, were distributed to the Internally Displaced Persons camp and other orphanage homes within the state.
Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said: “The allegation is laughable and completely false and is a design of detractors to smear the image of a performing government. They have tried and failed on all other fronts, now they have stooped lower to a commodity as cheap as rice”.