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COVID-19 palliatives: Don’t play politics with people’s life support, Obasa cautions critics

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Olasunkanmi Akoni

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly,  Mudashiru Obasa, has cautioned those criticising him for not doing enough with the relief package he recently distributed to his Agege constituents to stop playing politics with the lives of the people.

The call followed the release of a video that has gone viral on social media where some youths were deriding the gesture by kicking the bread in utter rejection of the palliative items.

It would be recalled that Obasa had ordered the distribution of stimulus package, ranging from more than 10,000 bags of rice, about 36,000 loaves of bread as well as loads of sanitisers to his constituents in order to cushion the effect of the government’s lockdown of the state in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Although, the majority of the beneficiaries of the speaker’s largesse, which cut across vulnerable people in all the wards of Agege Local Government, Orile Local Council Development Area (LCDA) as well as Alimosho Local Government Area have continued to commend Obasa, while a section of people in the community had decided to play politics with the gesture.

Speaking on the development Sunday, the speaker warned against ”playing with the people’s economic life,” saying his priority was to reach out to his people, especially the most vulnerable, and not to try to make political gains out of the scheme.

He said the purported rejection of the gesture has a “political undertone” rather than the general interest of the people.

Obasa, who shrugged off the claims in the video, wondered why the mischief-makers displayed that alone from among the other items which included 10,000 2 kilogram bags of rice, 1,500 packs of table water and sanitizers.

He said: “Let’s take the bread for example, it is even surprising that people are not looking at the economic value of sharing the loaves among thousands of the less-privileged.

“What they do not understand is that the bakers have smiled while the beneficiaries also smiled. The loaves went that far because of the number. Now take the rice into consideration and think of how many constituents and residents have the relief package.

“People can play politics but I would advise that we don’t resort to playing politics with people’s life-support.”

He also denied claims that the package was politically motivated, adding that it was shared among everybody who had the opportunity to benefit irrespective of religion, politics and other considerations.

“How can someone who distributed over 36, 000 loaves of bread give just four loaves to a household? How can infected grains be repackaged by a man who generously distributes 10,000 packs of rice? It is nice for people to talk and act knowing that posterity is an ultimate judge.”

He expressed gladness by the number of calls and messages received in appreciation of the gesture, saying it was an “encouragement.”

Obasa, however, said he would not allow the criticisms to deter him from giving back to the society, adding that, “I will continue to give more palliative support to our people in the coming days.”



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