The All Progressives Congress in Osun State has accused the Peoples Democratic Party of collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service to bribe voters in the state with expired rice ahead of the August 9 governorship election.
The Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy of the APC in Osun State, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, said in a statement in Osogbo on Saturday that the PDP collaborated with the Nigerian Customs’ warehouse in Ikeja where the expired bags of rice were loaded and transported to Osun State to induce voters.
The APC spokesperson further alleged that the PDP had started to re-bag the expired rice to deceive intended recipients.
But the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Gani Olaoluwa, in his reaction to PUNCH Newspaper, described the allegation as a lie fabricated to portray the opposition party in bad light.
Olaoluwa, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said the rice being distributed was for Ramadan.
He also accused the APC of distributing sachets of expired milk and noodles, saying the PDP gesture was aimed at cushioning the effect of poverty forced on the people of the state by the party’s bad governance.
The APC statement read in part, “The All Progressives Congress has warned Osun people that the PDP, in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs’ warehouse in Ikeja, has loaded trailers filled with thousands of bags of expired rice confiscated several months ago from smugglers.
“The expired bags of rice, which is poisonous, are being brought to Osun for distribution to voters. Competent sources from the Customs have also revealed that the concernment of those rice are unsuitable for human consumption. Osun citizens should therefore be warned that their lives are at risk from PDP poisoned rice.
“It is clear then that what the PDP intended to do was to bring expired rice to repackage and distribute to Osun people. Osun people are not hungry and they will not sell their birthrights for stolen public money, which the PDP want to distribute in towns and villages of Osun.”
The PDP chairman, who urged the people of the state to ignore the “lies of the APC” promised that the opposition party would improve the economy if its candidate was elected.
He said, “The APC is being mischievous. The party has resorted to fabrication of outright lies to discredit the PDP, having realised that the people have rejected their party.
“ Our people know they are liars and they should not be taken seriously. They are jittery due to the popularity of the candidate of our party, Otunba (Iyiola) Omisore.
“We distributed rice to the people of the state during the Ramadan season three years ago; we did the same two years ago and last year. Did they raise any allegation? They are doing that because of the election? We just want to advise our people to reject the expired sachet milk and noodles from the APC.”