Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Nigerian Air Forces Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA) over the weekend in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, provided palliatives to 190 low-income families in Yenezue-Gene and Igbogene communities in Yenagoa Local Government Area to cushion the effect of the partial lockdown of the state over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Mobility Command, Air Vice Marshal Ibukun Omotayo Ojeyemi, speaking at the presentation to the first 120 families, said the presentation was designed to commemorate the NAF’s 56th anniversary. He pleaded with Bayelsans to follow all safety measures in the fight against COVID-19.
“As we all know the lockdown has been biting hard on many Nigerians who survive on meagre daily earnings from petty trading and other micro-businesses but unfortunately have not able to undertake any serious economic transactions in the past four weeks. As a result, several households have become susceptible to hunger and deprivations, Being in tune with this reality, the NAF under the leadership of Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar mooted and sponsored this initiative to complement the efforts of the Federal and State Governments to alleviate the hardship caused by COVID-19 lockdown on the people especially the vulnerable and less privileged,” he said
At Igbogene community, the Chairperson NAFOWA, Mobility Command, Mrs Asabe Ojeyemi, said the palliative support which was the brainchild of NAFOWA National President Hajiya Hasfat Sadique Abubakar and is aimed at aiding low-income households, vulnerable individuals and the elderly who are too old and frail to engage in serious economic activities.
She commended the community leader for assisting NAFOWA in identify those truly deserving of the palliatives.
Items presented include bags of rice for each family, tubers of yam, vegetable oil, cartons of noodles and other condiments.
Meanwhile, the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State, Honourable Justice Kate Abiri, has approved the setting up of mobile courts to try violators of the lockdown in the state.
A statement from Mr Freston Akpor, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Orientation and member Bayelsa State Task Force on COVID-19, disclosed that four magistrates are to preside over the courts which will run two shifts of morning and afternoon daily.
He said the mobile court, which would commence sitting from Monday at Swali Ultra-Modern market, was part of measures to prevent the outbreak of the pandemic in the state.
“Violators of the various sanctions, particularly traders at the market, will be put on trial with prosecutors to be drawn from arresting officers from the Environmental Sanitation Authority, Ministry of Environment and officers of other law enforcement agencies. Offenders will be liable to such penalties as fine or community service or both.”