Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday raised the alarm that the state government has taken delivery of three trucks of expired rice from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management for onward distribution to the people of the state as their share of palliatives from the Federal Government.
Governor Ortom disclosed this while addressing the 23 council chairmen in the state during the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives procured by the state government to over 10,000 beneficiaries they described as “the poorest of the poor” at the headquarters of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Makurdi. He said the state’s share of the expired rice was said to have been dumped in Calabar, Cross River State, for collection by the state government but on arrival at the state, the consignment was discovered to have expired.
The rice came exactly twelve months after the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMIDPs) supplied 250 bags of spoiled beans to 181,050 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Fulani herdsmen attacks in the state as palliatives to cushion their hardship.
Ortom, who was represented by his Deputy, Benson Abounu, who doubles as chairman of COVID-19 in the state, said about N2 million was used to convey the expired consignment to the state. The governor said the distribution of the state COVID-19 palliatives, which included gallons of vegetable oil, cartons of tomato paste and semovita as well as hundreds of bags of rice, among other items, was to cushion the effect the lockdown of Coronavirus had on the “poorest of the poor” in the state.