From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Worried about the impacts of lockdown of some parts of Rivers state on vulnerable and less privileged people as a way of controlling the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Port Harcourt branch of Oba Progressive Union, OPU, has distributed some food items to some of their
community members residing in the state who have been badly impacted by weeks of lock down of businesses in the state.
The Union which is an umbrella body of Oba indigenes, Idemili South LGA of Anambra state who are resident in Rivers state, said the food
items aimed at cushioning the negative impacts of the COVID 19 lockdown on the less privileged.
The foods distributed include rice, beans, garri, oil, spaghetti, beverages and other items.
Among those who received the food items were widows, women, sick people 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 The AUTHORITY 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 not only union members, but also Oba indigenes who are non members of the union.
He lamented that the governments’ responses to the COVID 19 pandemic, especially the lockdown of the society and shutdown 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.
He called on those who are 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.
He commended members of the union who donated the items, praying that God will bless them and protect them from danger.
The OPU chairman said governments at all levels and corporate organizations should try and offer assistance to less privileged families who are 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 lock down.
He lamented that although government of the state is distributing foods 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 progress of OPU and its members and leaders. They cried to God to remove the COVID 19 scourge from the society so that people can resume their normal lives again.