From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Tuesday, gave out cartons of hand sanitizers and face masks for distribution to his constituents via the Primary Health Centres in Abia North.
This he said was part of his support to the on-going efforts of the State Government to prevent / stem the spread of the dreaded coronavirus disease .
Similarly, the member representing Umuahia /Ikwuano federal constituency, Hon. Johnson Onuigbo, also distributed sanitizers and buckets to his constituents including some media outfits in the state.
In the same vein, the Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly and member representing Umuahia Central state constituency, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, gave out sanitizers to his constituents.
This is ahead of a total knockdown of Abia State scheduled to commence today (Wednesday) according to a release by the state government.
The Speaker also embarked on sensitisation of traders at the various markets in the state capital which fall within his constituency.
The Speaker said he embarked on the sensitisation and free distribution of the sanitizers to educate the people and ameliorate their difficulty in accessing the vital but scarce item.
He appealed to producers and dealers in sanitizers and similar products not to take advantage of the situation to rip the people off.
Senator Ohuabunwa who was represented by the Director General of his Campaign Organisation, Chief Ukpai Ukairo, expressed worry over the scarcity and high cost of sanitizer which he noted was becoming un-affordable for average Nigerians.
He said he was deeply touched by the plight of his constituents in the face of the current danger posed by coronavirus outbreak in the country, hence his intervention.
The former Speaker ECOWAS Parliament pleaded with Health workers in Abia North to ensure judicious distribution of the items at various Primary Health centers in the zone.
He also urged the people to observe the necessary protocols and self hygienes including social distancing so as to stay away from the pandemic.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of his political structure, Follow Better Organisation ‘, Dr. Ndubuisi Eke, noted that Ohuabunwa who was instrumental to the establishment of the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, placed high premium on public health.
In her response, the Health Authority Secretary in Bende Local Government Area, Mrs. Chika Njoku who spoke for her counterparts in all five LGAs in the zone, commended Ohuabunwa for the gesture.
She said the people had been in serious need of sanitizer which had gone out of the reach of the common man, and rained blessings on Ohuabunwa for coming to the rescue of the people even though he had gone out of office.
The Health Officer who also appealed to the people to observe personal hygiene promised equitable distribution of the items in her area.
Investigation by The AUTHORITY in Umuahia revealed that a small tube of sanitizer which hitherto sold for between N350 and N400 now sells for as high as N2500 and above.
Meanwhile, Rep Onuigbo has appealed to his constituents to be patient and cooperate with government over the proposed shutting of markets and its attendant inconveniences.
He noted that the proposed lockdown of the state could bring some temporary hardship but added that it could never be equated to the devastation by coronavirus.
Onuigbo said it was better people endured hunger and stayed indoors and stay away from the deadly virus than go to market or work and contract it.
During the sensitisation in the market, Abia Speaker noted that he decided to meet his constituents again because he also visited the during campaigns to solicit their votes.
His words :”During elections, I came to the masses to solicit their votes with the promise that I will stand up for them both in good and bad times.
” When the report got to me that many of them could not afford the sanitizers, I decided to take up the responsibility and assist them as far as I could to ease their access to this vital item.
“Let me use this opportunity to reiterate the fact that Coronavirus is not a death sentence and no one should panic about it but abide by all regulations and protocols established by the Abia state government and other relevant agencies so that the preventive, management and control measures put in place will be effective”, he concluded.
Reacting, some of the beneficiaries of the exercise at Orie Ugba market in Umuahia, one of the several centers where the distribution exercise took place, expressed gratitude to the Speaker for his kind gesture, saying with the distribution of the sanitizers to them, they felt safer.