Three persons in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, and one each in Ido and Ikole, all in Ekiti State are now receiving treatment in hospitals after the weekend rice meal that turned awry.
During a visit to a private clinic in Ado-Ekiti where one of the victims is being treated, relatives of the victim said the student (name withheld) started complaining of stomach pain four hours after taking the meal. The same symptom was reported in the victims at Ikole-Ekiti and Ido-Ekiti.
The victims, all students, said they were some of the beneficiaries of rice distributed by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ayo Fayose, to members of his party as part of campaign strategy ahead of the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State.
A media report last week had indicated that bags of rice being distributed by the PDP candidate had expired since 2006. The report quoted an official of the Thailand Agency for Food Quality and Control, (TAFQC) in a letter sent to the Federal Government by the Thai authority.
Reacting to the development, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Youth Caucus leader, Mr Williams Akintunde, said his group had been vindicated in its claim that
“Fayose had placed the trucks conveying the rice in a graveyard for seven days where many spiritualists were invited to perform all sorts of rituals on the bags of rice”.
“The bags of rice are not good for the spiritual wellbeing of Ekiti people. The rice is harmful. Mr. Fayose has brought these bags of rice to destroy the lives of young people in Ekiti State. They must be careful so that they do not become zombies after eating Fayose’s rice,” the group said in a statement last week.
Arguing that the allegation was not without basis, the group recalled Fayose’s antecedents when he first sought the mandate of Ekiti people to be elected the governor of the state in 2003.
The group said, according to media reports that time, Fayose had allegedly approached a spiritualist in Igogo-Ekiti to help him prepare a charm that would endear him to the people. The herbalist reportedly asked Fayose that a pregnant woman would be needed for the ritual. After killing the pregnant woman, the fluid in her womb was sprinkled in the water and distributed to would-be voters. It worked temporarily. Fayose stole the hearts of the people who voted him during the 2003 election until 2006 when he was impeached.
The PDP youth group recalled that in 2007, when Yinka Akerele wanted to contest the governorship of the state, Segun Bamiteko, who took Fayose to the herbalist, also told Akerele that he could help him through a herbalist that assisted Fayose in 2003. Akerele declined and took the information to his other colleagues, one a senior journalist and a senior lawyer, who were bent on sacking Fayose as the governor.
The group quoted a report that Bamiteko was asked whether he would agree that he should be secretly recorded during encounter with the herbalist. He agreed.
He thereafter approached the herbalist for the same charm for a politician from Ogun State who also wanted to be elected as the governor. On the appointed day, a man armed with a tape recorder was dressed like a rich politician from Ogun State. The herbalist refused to go through the rigour of personally kidnapping a pregnant woman for the ritual, saying the money promised by Fayose for his service was never redeemed. He asked the Ogun politician to bring a pregnant woman for the ritual. The herbalist was secretly recorded.
The group said the tape was taken to the then Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, who arrested the herbalist after listening to the tape. The herbalist offered to take the police to where the woman was buried. On getting there, they were shocked to note that there was a fresh excavation of the spot where the woman was buried, indicating that her remains had been removed.
The group said in a twist difficult to explain, the herbalist was released by the police, leading to some Ekiti State indigenes, including a senior lawyer and journalist, to confront Ehindero over suspected connivance to bury the case.
It warned Ekiti voters to beware of rice and any other consumables coming from Fayose’s campaign organization, saying they are nothing but potions prepared from the blood of fellow human beings to ensure that he becomes the next governor.