The Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has said it has been distributing food items and kerosene to residents of the state for years, especially during festive periods, before it began its campaign for the forthcoming governorship election.
The Publicity Secretary of Osun PDP, Mr. Bola Ajao, said the party has been distributing several tonnes of rice and thousands of litres of kerosene to show that it cares for the people and denied insinuations that the party was using such items to induce voters.
He said, “This is Africa; in Africa we are known for the being our brother’s keepers. So, what we are doing, distributing rice and the kerosene is to show that we care for the people of Osun State. We didn’t start doing it because of election. We have been giving rice to people especially during festivities because we know that we have in our society people who might not be able to easily afford these things. This is also not the first time we are distributing kerosene.”
Ajao said in spite of the criticisms of the practice which has been termed ‘stomach infrastructure,’ the party would continue to distribute such items to those in need.
“We will continue giving out things even after the election. This is to show you that it is not about the election. We are only doing this to show the kind of party we are; a party that cares for the masses. As a matter of fact more batches of rice and may be kerosene will come before the election,” he said.
It was observed that hundreds of 50kg bags of rice, thousands of five-kilogram bags of rice as well as several cartoons of vegetable oil – all branded – were stocked at the PDP secretariat in Osogbo awaiting distribution.
The party has also engaged in distributing other branded gifts such as shirts, caps, hats, umbrellas, hand fans etc during its campaign rallies.