The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has advised those criticising him for not doing enough with the relief packages he recently shared to his Agege constituents to stop playing politics with the lives of the people.
Obasa ordered the distribution of stimulus packages ranging from more than 10,000 bags of rice, about 36,000 loaves of bread as well as loads of sanitisers to his constituents to ease the lockdown currently experienced as a result of COVID-19.
Although majority of the beneficiaries of the Speaker’s largesse, which cut across vulnerable people in all the Wards of Agege Local Government Area, Orile Local Council Development Area as well as Alimosho Local Government Area, have continued to praise him, it appears that a section of people in the community have decided to play politics with the gesture, a statement on Sunday by Obasa’s Media Office said.
Speaking about the development on Sunday, the Speaker warned against “playing with people’s economic life” as he stated that his priority was to reach out to his people, especially the most vulnerable, and not to try to make political gains out of the scheme.
Obasa’s position comes amid reports that the acclaimed rejection of the gesture has political undertone rather than the general interest in the well-being of the people.
The Speaker, while laughing off claims in a video that he shared bread, wondered why the mischief makers displayed that alone from among the other items, which included 10,000 2kg bags of rice, 1,500 packs of table water and sanitisers.
He said: “Let’s take the bread for example, it is even surprising that people are not looking at the economic value of sharing the loaves among thousands of the less-privileged.
“What they do not understand is that the bakers have smiled while the beneficiaries also smiled. The loaves went that far because of the number. Now take the rice into consideration and think of how many constituents and residents for the relief.
“People can play politics but I would advise that we don’t resort to playing politics with people’s life-support.”
Obasa also denied claims that the packages were politically motivated, adding that it was shared among everybody who had the opportunity to benefit and these cut across religion, politics and other considerations.
He said: “How can someone who distributed over 36,000 loaves of bread give just four loaves to a household? How can infected grains be repackaged by a man who generously distributes 10,000 packs of rice? It is nice for people to talk and act knowing that posterity is an ultimate judge.”
Obasa said he had been encouraged by the number of calls and messages he had received in appreciation of the gesture.
He, however, said he would not allow the criticisms to deter him from being there for his people, adding that he would continue to give more palliative support to his people in the coming days.