The Alema of Warri Kingdom, Chief Oritsejolomi Uduaghan, has provided food items and other palliatives to residents of over 500 communities in the 25 local government areas of Delta State to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Delta is one of the states currently on extended lockdown after recording three cases with one death, while 20 other contacts are being traced.
The distribution of food items to vulnerable residents of the communities, spread across the 25 local government areas of the state, commenced on Monday across the state. The items include cattle, thousands of bags of rice, garri, tubers of yam, and gallons of oil.
According to Uduaghan, the food items were handed over to traditional rulers who would in conjunction with the local government chairmen ensure equitable distribution of the items to the needy.
He said the provision of stimulus during this period of global pandemic should not be left in the hands of the government alone.
He said, “I have always had the interest to assist the vulnerable people in the society and I cannot shy from that humanitarian gesture especially now in the period of the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus disease.
“So far, over 500 communities in the state have benefited from the food items I have sent round. The items include trailers of livestock such as cattle, thousands of bags of rice, garri, tubers of yam, and gallons of oil.
“Under this circumstance, the government cannot be left alone to carry out all the tasks that is why I had to come up with this initiative to provide this stimulus for the people. You do not have to be in government at times like this to reach out to the poor. There is no political undertone to this gesture as well, it is just for humanitarian purposes.
“This is a call to all religious and humanitarian organisations to rise to the challenge posed by this COVID-19. It is a global scourge and I urge all Delta State residents to abide by the government’s policy on the use of masks, regular hand wash, and social distancing to curb the spread.”
Chairman of Ukwani LGA, Chief Chukwudi Dafe, who is coordinating the nine LGAs in Delta North, said the stimulus packages donated will help cushion the effect of the lockdown directive of government on his people, especially the most vulnerable class.
Also, the Chairman of Warri North LGA, Mr Aduge Okorodudu, charged other well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies in the state to emulate the gesture of Uduaghan by doing the same for Delta communities.
A former Chairman of Okpe LGA, Prince Godwin Ejinyere, who is an Executive Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Project Monitoring, said there was no other time to extend a helping hand to the people than now.
He, therefore, charged residents to obey the lockdown directives and maintain social distancing, urging them not to shake hands and avoid public gathering this period.