A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, has urged the state government to immediately set up a food bank in strategic points across the state to provide food materials to the poor and rural dwellers in order to ease the expected adverse effect the restrictions implemented in the state will have on their socio-economic wellbeing.
He made this call at a press briefing yesterday in Benin-city, the state capital, where he also announced that his campaign organisation has produced more hand sanitizers and informational materials on the COVID-19 for a fresh round of distribution across the state, with focus on journalists, health workers, bus drivers and other providers of essential services exempted from the restrictions and allowed to operate skeletally.
Ize-Iyamu said: “In a bid to escalate our ongoing efforts to curtail the spread of the virus at home, we have produced more hand sanitizers and sensitisation handbills for distribution to our people.
“Specifically, we will donate these hand sanitizers across the state, and we shall also focus on journalists, bus drivers, health workers and other providers of essential services who, despite the movement restriction, may be required to remain mobile and operative.
“However, by reason of having the primary responsibility to protect lives and property, and the resources of the state at its disposal, we appeal to the state government to immediately begin the process of setting up food banks to attend to the needy during these difficult times to cushion the effect that the restrictions, especially in trade, is expected to have on them.
“With this step, we believe that a breakdown of law and order and possible violence in a scuffle for limited resources-especially food-in the face of mass hunger will be averted.”
According to Ize Iyamu, his wife, Prof. Idia Ize Iyamu, alongside her friends and family, will also make provision of food to the disabled in the state to cushion the effect the disruption of the local economy will have on them and to ensure their survival.
The former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) advised the citizens of the state to protect themselves and communities from the virus through adherence to common-sense precautions such as the washing of hands regularly with soap, social distancing, remaining indoors, and prompt alert of local health authorities if sick or symptomatic.
He said: “My fellow Edo people, as we pray for God’s mercy upon our state and country, and patiently await the recovery of those infected, let us be magnanimous enough to share what we have with those who have nothing during this period of compulsory lockdown.”