Three aides of the Governor of Delta state, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, last Saturday donated food items to people of Illah community in Oshimili North Local Government Area of the state as palliative to cushion the effect of the lockdown ordered by the state government following COVID-19 pandemic.
The aides, who hail from the community, are Executive Assistant to the Governor on Land Resources, Mr Frank Esenwah; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr Andy Ilabor and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika.
The items, which included cartons of noodles, bags of 5kg rice and cartons of vegetable oil, were presented to Illah COVID-19 Food Response Committee for distribution to 211 identified vulnerable households in the nine villages that make up the community.
Presenting the items, Esenwah, who was in company with Ilabor and Ifeajika, said the donation was to ameliorate the sufferings of the vulnerable ones in the community.
He urged the people to remain law-abiding and adhere strictly to the stay-at-home directive of the government as the world battled the Coronavirus pandemic.
He thanked his colleagues, the state government, Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Mr Patrick Ukah and others who had earlier given palliative items to Illah and urged other well-meaning citizens of the community to contribute to the welfare of the vulnerable.
“The food is not necessarily meant for those who have people to take care of them; it is meant for those who do not have at all.
“We have a Committee that is saddled with the responsibility of identifying beneficiaries and distribution of the palliatives and it includes the community’s Vice President-General, APC Chairman in the LGA who is from the community and APC and PDP woman leaders in the Ward.
“So, you can see that the committee is community-based and comprised of other political, religious and communal interests. The whole idea of making it community-based is to ensure that all interests are accommodated.
“Basically, the food is not meant for everybody, because it cannot go round everybody but we are looking at those who are actually vulnerable.
“What we bought today is the much we have been able to source from the market at the moment, given that demand for these items is quite high now, but as we procure more, we will bring them to the community for distribution to more people,” he said.
Also speaking, the SDGs boss, Ilabor, said 211 vulnerable households would be accommodated in the sharing to the nine villages in the community.
“We believe that this will reduce the burden on the vulnerable ones in the society and I appeal to well-meaning sons and daughters of the community who have to spare, to please support the vulnerable.
On his part, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ifeajika, assured that more palliative items would be presented as soon as they were able to procure them.
“The much we were to get from the market is what we have brought today because it was already being delayed. We have guided the committee sharing the items to ensure that the real intention of our governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, in providing for the indigent in this critical time is achieved.
“We charged them to identify the households that are truly indigent so that we won’t have the kind of complaints we hear from some parts of the state over the sharing of the food items brought by the government and individuals.
“Those households will be the beneficiaries because the consideration is not politics; the consideration is to provide for the welfare of the people.
“At the onset of the COVID-19, you will recall that I came here to donate sanitisers and face masks and others to the people and I advised them to ensure that they observe the stay-at-home directive as the virus does not move on its own; human beings are the vehicle that transmits it,” Ifeajika said.
Receiving the items, Chairman of Illah Community COVID-19 Food Response Committee and Vice President-General of Illah Development Union of Nigeria (IDUN), Ogbuenyi Mike Ofili, thanked the donors for the gesture.
“We appreciate the donors of the consignments; they are our illustrious sons and on behalf of IDUN, I appreciate them for this lovely initiative,” he stated.
A member of the committee and Chairman of APC in Oshimili North Local Government Area, Mr Ozo Njogwuani, expressed pleasure with the gesture of the governor’s aides.
“We thank our sons for this contribution and as a member of the committee we will ensure that the items are distributed equitably to the vulnerable in the community,” he said.