Officers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Upper West Region have called for investigations into how food items distributed by Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia to flood victims in the region have turned out to be expired products.
Cooking oil and rice were among food items distributed to flood victims in Wa and Sissala East municipalities by the Vice President during his visit to the region on Saturday.
But while some of the cooking oil seen by Graphic Online had September 10, 2018 as expiry date, the rice seen by Graphic Online did not have expiry date at all.
The food items were part of assorted relief materials – which also included sachet water and mattresses – that were flown to the Upper West Region in aircrafts – seemingly from Accra – in their huge quantities for distribution to flood victims.
Some beneficiaries of the items have since complained about having suffered various health conditions, including stomach upset, upon the consumption of the food items.
At a news conference in Wa on Tuesday, the communication officer of the NDC, Prosper Puo-ire, called on the government to retrieve the remainder of unused food items distributed to the people and to return wholesome food items to them as a matter of urgency.
“We are yet to come to terms with why our Vice President will choose to exacerbate the suffering of our people by exposing them to unquantifiable health challenges at a time they are grappling with pulling the pieces of their lives together after suffering a disaster,” Mr Puo-ire said.
Mr Puo-ire alleged also that some genuine victims of the floods were ignored on the basis of supposed political leanings which defeated the supposed intent to assuage the condition of persons affected by the natural disaster.
“We are calling on the President on whose behalf Dr Bawumia donated the expired consumables to our people and, indeed, the entire (ruling) New Patriotic Party machinery in the region to come out with contrite hearts and apologise profusely to the good people of Upper West Region and particularly the disaster victims whom this particular act has left in greater pain,” Mr Puo-ire said.
Mr Puo-ire said the seeming discrimination which occasioned the distribution of expired food items to people in Upper West Region was also evident in the reported GH¢5,000 cash donation made by the Vice President in the Northern Region but not in the Upper West Region.
“The question we ask is whether by this singular act the Vice President seeks to consummate the saying that ‘some Ghanaians are more Ghanaian than others’?”