The Ondo State Food Palliative Committee has denied rejecting the 1,800 bags of rice donated to the state by the Federal Government aimed at cushioning the effects of the lockdown in the state due to the COVID-19.
The denial was contained in a statement by Mr Alex Kalejaiye, the spokesman of the committee, and made available to newsmen on Monday in Akure.
” It is pertinent to react to the publication in some national newspapers that the Ondo State Government has rejected the bags of rice supplied to it by the Federal Government.
“For the records, the story is untrue and sensational.
“At no time did the state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, instruct that the rice meant to assist the state to combat food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic be rejected and returned to Abuja,” he said
Kalejaye added that on receipt of the items, the palliative committee did a random physical inspection of the rice and discovered that some appeared unhealthy for consumption on the face-value while others were good.
“The committee indeed drew the attention of Mr Governor to this and pleaded for proper guidance.
“While awaiting the thoughts of Mr Governor, the committee members met and decided to carry out a comprehensive inspection to ascertain how many bags have been affected on account of storage.
” We discovered that less than 10 per cent of the lot falls into this category, and subsequently separated the few bags,” he explained.
According to him, it is very embarrassing that newspapers will publish reports that the state government has rejected the Federal Government’s donation.
“The state is rather deeply appreciative of the Federal Government for standing by it in this trying time and very optimistic that the support will further cushion the effects of hunger on our people.
“I want to urge journalists to be painstaking in their assignments and always put their crave for a scoop in check,” he said.