Editor's note: During the Ramadan fast Nigeria was rocked with a fruit scandal. There was outrage when dates (fruits) worth millions of naira shipped from Saudi Arabia as free gifts for millions of Muslim faithful in the IDP camp was diverted for sale.
Hussain Obaro in this piece talks about how no one has been able to give a logical explanation on how the fruits which was meant to be shared got released into the market for sale.
In what seems like a desperate attempt to dent the ongoing anticorruption fight of the present administration, some unscrupulous and corrupt elements recently hijacked and diverted 200 tones of date palm recently donated to by the government of Saudi Arabia.
The fruit, date palm popularly called dabino in Nigeria was donated to the Nigeria government a couple of days to the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan fasting which occur yearly to be distributed free of charge to the poor and indigent Muslims via designated mosques in the country, especially at the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps across the nation.
But sadly, the fruit found its way into the open markets of Abuja and its environs where it was sold to members of the public.
Surprisingly, no one has been able to give a logical explanation on how the dabino meant to be shared to the poorest among us got released into the market for sale.
The date palm which was released and distributed from a warehouse belonging to Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the presence of some officials of the ministry of foreign affairs who have since released a statement absorbing the ministry of any wrong doing and denying any involvement in the scandal.
According to them, as soon as the commission for refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons stepped in and has drawn up the list of recipients which included IDP camps, and prominent mosques across the nation, the ministry ceded subsequent responsibility.
In a similar fashion, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has also denied any involvement or complicity, stating that the scandal has nothing to do with the commission, but entirely a federal government affair.
The question now is; who is responsible for the diversion and subsequent release of the fruit for sale in the market? To say that the whole dabino Scandal has brought a great deal of embarrassment and put to question the resolve of the federal government of Nigeria to cleanse the system and make it corruption free is to say the least.
Even as all of the parties involved are making frantic efforts at shifting blame and absolving themselves of having anything to do with the Scandal, the onus lies on the federal government of Nigeria to as a matter of national importance, set up a presidential committee with the mandate of identifying the culprits and bringing them to book.
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The already battered international image of this country should not be allowed to be dragged in the mud any further. Unmasking and punishing all involved in the complicity no matter how highly placed will serve as a deterrent to others and send a signal to the whole world that the war against corruption of the present administration is real.
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Watch this NAIJ.com TV video about how the recent Ramadan fast affected the prices of food stuffs.