By Lawrence Olaoye
Ogun state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described the allegation that his government bagged sand in place of rice in its Rice Pyramid as the handiwork of his political detractors.
Amosun, represented by his Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Dayo Adeneye, at a media workshop organized by the State House Press Corps (SHPC) in Abeokuta at the weekend, observed that the rumour had been rife that the state rice production company was erecting pyramids of sandbags with very little rice to deceive the public.
The governor lamented that a deliberate attempt was being made by political opponents to rubbish the efforts of his administration particularly in the social media.
He regretted that those politicians de-marketing the state were those angling to take over the leadership of Ogun.
Amosun urged the media to continue to report the truth despite the manipulative tendencies of politicians for their own selfish interests.
According to him, the state had keyed into the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to diversify the economy through agriculture, noting that the effort was already yielding results.
The governor observed that from about N20,000 per 50kg bag, the cost of rice had dropped considerably within one year.
Rice farmers in the state were happy because they realized that government serving as off-takers would purchase all they produce and sell to the public at N11,000.
In order to dispel the rumour, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, had earlier led the media on a tour of the state rice producing mill at Asero Odeda Local government.
Amosun continued “We were able to take you around and you saw for yourselves what obtains. You saw the processes, the farms, you saw the farmers, you saw how grateful they were to this administration for empowering them.
“They were also grateful to the Federal Government programme IFAD, FADAMA for empowering them and helping them to achieve what they have been able to achieve with Mitros Rice.
“You also saw the processing plant, the rice mill, the bagging process and all that.
“Some people are just being mischievous because we are approaching election year and they are trying to score cheap political points.
“The social media can either be used either as a weapon of mass destruction or weapon of mass development because people tend to believe everything they read on social media whether it’s true or not.”