Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, and two other aides of the governor on Saturday presented food items to 211 vulnerable households in their hometown of Illah in Oshimili North Local Government Area of the state.
The two other aides include Executive Assistant to the Governor on Land Resources, Mr Frank Esenwah and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr Andy Ilabor.
The palliatives, according to the joint donors, is to cushion the effect of the lockdown ordered by the governor to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donated items which include noodles, rice and vegetable oil, were presented to Illah COVID-19 Food Response Committee headed by the Vice President-General of Illah Development Union of Nigeria (IDUN), Ogbuenyi Mike Ofili, for onward distribution to beneficiaries.
Speaking to the community, Mr Frank Esenwah 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 said the beneficiaries were identified by the committee whose membership cuts across political party lines, adding that the idea was to make it community-based and 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, Ilabor said the donation would reduce the burden on vulnerable members of society, and appealed to public-spirited individuals in the community to do their part to support the vulnerable.
On his part, Mr Ifeajika assured that more relief items would be presented as soon as they are 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, 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.