Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has repeatedly called on good-spirited sons and daughters of the state to support his fight to curb the spread of the coronavirus and, more importantly, to quench the attendant hunger and hardship in the state.
Uzodimma’s plea has received the attention of some corporate organisations and philanthropists who contributed in their own little way.
But of all the benevolent hands, a pastor of the City of Joy Glorious Assembly in Lagos State, Ugochukwu Jombo, took his philanthropy to a different level as he singlehandedly fed his community, Mgbala, Umuesegbelu, in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.
He did not just give them their daily bread but he also doled out bags of rice and other foodstuff, as well as cash to the most indigent ones in the community.
Daily Sun gathered that, besides the palliatives, the minister of God, who is also a businessman, owning three different companies in Lagos State, has always responded to the needs of his people whenever he was called upon.
Residents said that Pastor Jombo’s country home is usually a Mecca of sorts anytime he visits, as people would troop in for assistance, while he also fetes his people throughout his stay.
It was also gathered that Jombo has lost count of the hospital bills he has defrayed since he was trapped in the lockdown owing to the ban on interstate travels for over three months.
In addition, he has also supported the ongoing building project of Saint John Catholic Church in his community.
In fact, the cleric has received accolades from various student groups, including the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS).
The list of Pastor Jombo’s acts of generosity is endless and endeared him to the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Blaise Oba, the Olu Ohan I of Mgbala Agwa autonomous community, who has also made sure that the palliative items got to the actual people they were meant for.
On why he decided to assist his people at this critical time, Jombo said: “I take delight in giving more than receiving, after all that’s what the Bible teaches; for me, I don’t like it when I see people surfer for what I can easily give.
“Besides, if everybody can hear the cry of our governor to support those who do not have in the society, the world would be a better place. I thank God for the kind of governor we have, he was a philanthropist himself, before assuming office, and he is still.
“Each time I come back to the village and see people hovering around my house, I know it’s not by their own making but somebody just has to attend to them, so I was sleeping one night and something said to me, go and get something for your people, they need your help, and I obeyed that voice and told one of my friends to accompany me to somewhere and we ended up in the market where I bought the items.”
He explained that he left the distribution of the items in the hands of the traditional ruler and his wife and the strategy actually paid off.
For Eze Oba, the cleric is a true son of the community. He affirmed that Jombo has been a blessing to his people: “He is our true son, who always responds whenever we call upon him. He does not believe anybody is different. He treats everybody equally. I was surprised when he brought those heavy bags of rice to my palace because he did not inform me. When I looked at the rice, it was filled to the brim in the vehicle, I almost shed tears but it’s not a time to cry but a time to thank God for remembering my people through a worthy son.”
One of the beneficiaries, Akachukwu Lawrence, who spoke to our correspondent, prayed that God would bless their benefactor. Also, a widow with five children shed tears when she remarked: “Life as a widow can never be worse than experiencing this lockdown period; my fish business could not thrive again because I cannot go out to sell them, even those at home cannot even afford my fish, I ended up eating all of them with my children and couldn’t afford to buy another one for sale until he came and gave me money to start afresh.”