13 Dec Nigeria: Osun APC Recommends Halting Free School Feeding Program Amid Alleged Poisoning Incident
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
In the aftermath of the alleged poisoning incident affecting 18 primary school pupils at St. James Primary School in Osogbo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun has called upon Governor Ademola Adeleke to cease the implementation of the free school feeding program recently initiated in the state.
The incident unfolded on Monday when the pupils reportedly fell ill after consuming their free O-Meal diet, leading to their hospitalization and subsequent discharge. The APC, through its Chairman, Mr. Sooko Lawal, expressed concerns about the lackadaisical leadership displayed in the state, labeling the episode as both an embarrassment to the citizenry and a reflection of the unpreparedness of the authorities.
Lawal, in a statement issued on Tuesday in Osogbo, questioned the dedication of food vendors who, he claimed, receive inadequate compensation and lack proper food supplies. He emphasized the need for a serious conversation between Governor Adeleke and his creator if the allegations prove true.
Stakeholders are urged to condemn what the APC perceives as a laissez-faire approach to governance, as demonstrated by the suspected poisoning incident affecting the primary school pupils. The party contends that this incident is a poignant indicator of systemic issues within the administration.
In response to the situation, the Osun Government, led by Governor Adeleke, has initiated a comprehensive investigation into the alleged food poisoning. The Governor has also ordered the suspension of the free meals to pupils, emphasizing the need for a thorough examination of food standards and an audit of the O-Meal structure to prevent future occurrences.
The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. Kolapo Alimi, revealed that the affected cooks and the planning officer for the program have been summoned for a meeting to address the situation. Governor Adeleke has mandated the enforcement of food standards and the auditing of the O-Meal structure to ensure compliance.
The state government, following the discharge of the affected students from the hospital, has settled all medical bills. The Chairman of the Local Government Education Authority, Mr. Nathaniel Ojetola, provided details, stating that out of the school’s total population of 200 students, 103 were part of the O-Meal program. Additionally, a government delegation is visiting the families of the affected students to provide support and gather further information.
As investigations unfold, the Osun Government remains committed to addressing the root causes of the alleged poisoning and ensuring the safety of students enrolled in the free school feeding program.