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Otuoke Residents Scramble For Bags Of Rice

An indication that the level of hunger in Nigeria has assumed a more frightening dimension emerged at the weekend in Otuoke, President Goodluck Jonathan’s country home, Bayelsa State, as residents scrambled for bags of rice donated to communities in Ogbia area by a non-governmental organisation, Body Enhancement Foundation (BEF).

Some persons were said to have sustained injuries as a result of the intense struggle for the foodstuff.

In an exclusive report on Monday , economic experts had expressed concern that economic hardship would increase in geometrical proportions as the nation’s economy collapsed under economic recession occasioned by fall in oil prices and the naira’s weakening purchasing power.

At the event, which was held on Sunday at the Otuoke Cottage Hospital, the BEF also donated items such as eyeglasses and drugs to the communities.

The foundation, in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other organisations, were in the state for a five-day food and medical mission.

It was gathered that even those who had earlier been tested and given the drugs, pair of eye and reading glasses, refused to leave the venue, confessing they were actually attracted to the place by the bags of rice, which they wanted to get some to feed their families.

Disturbed by insinuation that the foundation’s purpose was politically motivated, especially as the 2015 elections drew near, founder and President, BEF, Modupe Ozolua, clarified that it was not true.

She said the foundation had undertaken the mission for 11 years, stressing that Bayelsa was selected after a lucky dip by a group of medical doctors on the team.

Source – Daily Independent

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