By Styvn Obodoekwe
Worried about the harsh impacts of governor Wike’s lock down of some sections of the state on vulnerable and less privileged people as away of controlling the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Port Harcourt branch of Oba Progressive Union, OPU, an umbrella body of Oba
indigenes, Idemili South LGA of Anambra State who are resident in Rivers State, has distributed some food items to some of their community members residing in rivers state who have been badly impacted by weeks of lock down of businesses in the state.
The food items aimed at cushioning the negative impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on the less privileged include rice, beans, garri, oil,spaghetti, beverages and other items.
Among those who received the food items were widows, women, the sick and those whose businesses and sources of livelihood have been disrupted by the lock down. Preferences were given to widows, nursing mothers and pregnant women. The items were delivered at the homes of those who could not access the venue of the distribution due to ill-health or distance.
Chairman of the town union, Mr Ifeanyi Onwuzulike informed this publication that the food items were purchased with money donated by members of the union.
He noted that it was in line with part of the objectives of the union aimed at taking care of the welfare of notonly union members, but also Oba indigenes who are non members of the union. He lamented that the governments’ responses to the COVID-19pandemic, especially the lock down of the society and shut down of businesses have created serious hardships and immense pressures on numerous families, adding that starvation is becoming a major threat to survival of the less privileged.
The community union leader called on the well-to- do to imbibe the spirit of extending support to less privileged persons around them.
“This is a period for people to demonstrate that they are truly their brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.
It is time for people to constantly check on people they know, to find out how they are faring; people should begin to show concern for the plights of people around them and do their best to support them” said Mr Onwuzulike while presenting the food items to the recipients.
He commended the members who donated the items, praying that God will bless them and protect them from danger.
The OPU chairman called on governments at all levels and corporate organizations to try and offer assistance to less privileged families now trapped between known hunger and the fear of COVID-19 pandemic, adding that many families are passing through immense hardships as a result of the lockdown.
He lamented that although the Rivers State is distributing indomie to citizens as palliatives, many less privileged people are yet to benefit from the government exercise.
The recipients expressed gratitude to God for using the union to provide food for them at this period of hunger. They prayed for the progress of OPU and its members and leaders. They cried to God to remove COVID-19 scourge from the society so that people can resume their normal lives again.