Residents of Ondo city, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government have allegedly rejected the palliatives sent to them by the Ondo State Government to cushion the COVID-19 effect.
In a trending 55 seconds video which had gone viral on social media, the residents who had gathered at the Oba Adesanoye Civic Center ordered the buses that conveyed the palliative items from Akure to return the items to its destination.
In the video, some of the people who appeared not to be pleased with the process of the palliatives sharing were heard shouting “Ole, Ole” ( thieves, thieves! ) until the vehicle left the venue.
According to a source, the rejection occurred as a result of the alleged failure of the Ondo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mrs Lola Fagbemi to inform the Kabiyesi that the items have arrived.
The source said, “Mrs Fagbemi was in charge of the distribution of the palliatives but when they brought them to the town, they did not inform the Kabiyesi, nor the council chairman nor other leaders in the community.
“So this infuriated the people and they asked them to go away with the items because there would not be objectivity in the distribution if the community leaders were not carried along.”
Another source said the people of the community rejected the items because the chairman of the local government, Mr Adewale Adelakun, was not carried along, which was against the instruction of the governor.
“The supporters of the council chairman and that of the commissioner (Mrs Fagbemi) had an altercation at the venue of the distribution which almost led to a free-for-all, over the distribution of the palliatives.
“Fagbemi did not inform the chairman. This did not go down well with the chairman’s supporters and there were altercations. It was at that point that the people said they didn’t want the palliatives again and they were taken back to Akure.”
The source, however, said the matter was later resolved after the intervention of Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
Meanwhile, Mrs Lola Fagbemi, who reacted through a statement, issued by her media aide, Oyedele Abiodun, said the palliatives were not rejected by the people.
She said, “The arrangement for the distribution of the palliatives was only adjusted to enhance a conducive environment and atmosphere in ensuring that the palliatives get to our people in Ondo West regardless of political affiliations.
“Ondo West people are grateful to Arakunrrin Rotimi Akeredolu for this timely gesture to cushion the economy effects of COVID-19 sit-at-home directive by the government.”