Rice is undoubtedly one food 90% that Nigerians eat at least twice in a week and people who work in companies even look forward to Christmas rice. 

Could this be called election rice? 

In Lagos, some bags of rice received by civil servants few days to the Governorship election are causing palaver. 

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had added rice to some of the items he was handing out to people at a time he was still campaigning for the governorship seat of the 'money city' in Nigeria. 

This act of perceived-benevolence angered the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Jimi Agbaje, and he faulted this distribution of bags of rice.

Agbaje expressed the position in a statement by Mr Felix Oboagwina, his Director of Media and Publicity on Friday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria says Sanwo-Olu distributed bags of rice to workers after a meeting with them at the state secretariat, Ikeja on Thursday.

Mr Agbaje, identifying what was wrong with the gift, said the bags of rice had on them the logo of the APC and that the distribution violated civil service decorum and neutrality.

“We find the invitation and the rice gift appalling, opportunistic and illegal.

jimi agbaje and babajide sanwo-olu

Jimi Agbaje and Babajide Sanwo-Olu

“In a political contest of the nature in which Sanwo-Olu and the rest of us are involved, he has been offered an undue advantage. An uneven playing field has been created. And this is condemnable and contemptible.

"The gesture goes against Nigeria’s bureaucratic statutes that forbid civil servants romancing politics. For crying out loud, there are still regulations preventing civil servants from involving in politics.

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"That invitation and the rice gifts is a violation of those extant rules,” he said.

He claimed that civil servants who refused to show up for the meeting stood the grave danger of being marked down for discrimination, intimidation and witch-hunting.

According to him, it is to maintain neutrality and decorum that soldiers and police were similarly barred from involvement in politics.

Agbaje emphasised that politicians were prevented from campaigning in uniformed personnel’s barracks and formations to preserve the political neutrality of security agencies.

“It is a shame to see civil servants struggling and hurting themselves just to get a small bag of Sanwo-Olu rice.

“But it is even more shameful to subject the crop of Nigeria’s middle-class to such an indignity,” Agbaje added.

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