Oyo state government led by Senator Abiola Ajimobi has become the latest to join the Rice Revolution sweeping across southwest Nigeria and indeed the entire country with the emergence of pictures of Ajumose rice on social media.
Several things are wrong with the state government’s version of stomach politics, one of such is its lack of interest in developing the economic climate in Oyo state by engaging the services of a Lagos-based company instead of one that is based in Ibadan.
There are several food companies in Ibadan that the government could have engaged in the project and would have been much easier to explain to the people that it was encouraging local manufacturers. But paying money meant for the state to JMK Foods located at 263, Daleko Market, Iyana Isolo, Mushin, Lagos, is difficult – almost impossible – to defend.
The choice of rice is another bone of contention. How does it ameliorate the sufferings of the people of Oyo state? A family can finish the bag of rice within one month. What happens next? More rice?
This is a sheer show of Ajimobi’s disconnection with people at the grassroots. I can see he is striving to reconnect with them but he is getting it all wrong. Oyo people are not like Ekiti (sorry folks). They will eat your rice and send you packing (ask Akala).
Furthermore, he is quickly portraying himself to be a desperate politician who is ready to do anything to win elections.
To win next year, he needs to avidly pursue projects that would uplift the people at the grassroots – economically and in other aspects. Let people see he is truly committed and has something for them.
His government is collecting so much from the people in dues and taxes. If he is smart enough to formulate strategies to generate revenues, he can formulate strategies to uplift Oyo people apart from throwing cheap rice around – rice without production and expiry dates.