NIGERIA – The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun has called on Governor Ademola Adeleke to suspend the free school feeding program initiated by his administration.
This advice comes in the wake of an alleged food poisoning incident involving 18 primary school pupils who fell ill after consuming their free O-Meal diet at St. James Primary School in Osogbo.
In a statement issued by the APC Chairman, Mr. Sooko Lawal, and the party’s Director of Media and Information, Mr. Kola Olabisi, the incident was described as indicative of lackadaisical leadership in the state.
Lawal expressed discomfort at reports from a victim’s mother, highlighting an offensive odor similar to a rotten egg in the child returning from school. He raised concerns about the dedication of food vendors who are allegedly paid low wages and not provided with the right food supplies.
Lawal criticized what he perceived as unpreparedness and called for stakeholders to condemn the laissez-faire approach to governance, emphasizing that the suspected poisoning incident reflects poorly on the state’s leadership.
Meanwhile, the Osun Government has responded to the incident by ordering a full investigation. Governor Adeleke directed the immediate stoppage of free meals to pupils and summoned the affected cooks and the planning officer for the O-Meal program for a meeting.
The Governor emphasized the enforcement of food standards and announced an audit of the O-Meal structure to prevent future occurrences.
The statement from the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. Kolapo Alimi, confirmed that the state government has settled all medical bills of the affected students after their discharge from the hospital.
According to the Chairman of the Local Government Education Authority, Mr. Nathaniel Ojetola, 18 students were treated and discharged out of a total school population of 200, with only 103 students receiving food from the O-Meal program.