By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Plateau State Government, on Wednesday donated food items and toiletries to five LGAs of the state, to help cushion the hardship and hunger being faced by vulnerable citizens of the state as a result of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world, Nigeria inclusive.
It would be recalled that, Plateau State has been in and out of lockdown for close to two months now, which has brought so much hardship on many of its citizenry, with government giving the period of restocking from Midnight of every Thursday to Midnight of every Sunday; which has now been reviewed to every Wednesday midnight to midnight of every Sunday.
Also, the World Food Programme (WFP) records, says, “about 265 million people could be pushed into acute food insecurity”.
Presenting the palliatives to the Chairman of Jos North LGA, the Chairman of the the COVID-19 Committee on Palliatives and Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, said, “We have found ourselves in a very difficult situation, is not our wish or the wish of the government, but this thing has fallen on us.
Tyoden explained that, “The total lockdown in the state is deliberately aimed at seeing that we maintain the social distance, do the necessary things for our own health.
“But unfortunately, like I said, these are not normal times, so I want to appeal to the generality of the people, in the state and in Jos North in particular, to bear with government.
“For our Muslim brothers who will be observing the Sallah celebration in a few days’ time, I want them to bear this in mind, that these are not normal times.
“Yesterday the number of affected persons on the Plateau was 35, this morning is 50; so by the weekend is likely to be a 100”, he lamented.
“So, you see the spread of the disease is on the increase, so we need to do the needful, in other words, respect what government has decided, so that we can maintain the peace and health of everybody in Jos North and the state in general”, he advised.
“So, while wishing our Muslim brothers a happy Sallah, I want to also appeal that the most important thing for us is to be alive to be able to worship our respective Gods.
Speaking on the distribution pattern of the palliative, the Deputy Governor said, “The distribution is based on polling units in every LGA, and as you all know, Jos North has the highest number of polling units and voting population in the state.
“So the items that have been brought to Jos North is far more than what is going to other LGAs”, he explained.
He mentioned the items as he presents it to the Council chairman and also representative of disabled persons in the council, as its been done in all other LGAs that have received the palliative.
The items include; 250 bags of rice, 220 bags of maize, 50 cartons of Maggi cubes, 50 bags of salt, 10 cartons of beauty Washing soap, 25 bags of spaghetti, 650 tubers of yam, 10 cartons of Close-up toothpaste and 250 cartons of tomato paste.
In addition to the aforementioned items, the physically challenged persons were also given; 10 bags of rice, 10 bags of salt, 10 crates of bottled water, 10 crates of soft drinks, 5 cartons of beauty washing soap, 10 bags of maize flour and one roll of toilet paper.
Also, a similar gesture was presented to the citizens of Jos South, Mangu, Pankshin and Kanke LGAs of the State.
Responding, chairman of Jos North LGA, Hon. Shehu Bala Usman, thanked the State Government for the gesture.
Usman said, “This will go a long way in cushioning the plight of the vulnerable citizens in the council.
Also speaking, Chairman of Jos South LGA, Hon. Dachung Yohanna Choji, thanked the state government for reaching out to the citizenry.
Choji also, commended government for steps taken to curb the spread of the disease in the state and urged citizens to adhere to the safety guidelines.
He however said the biggest challenge for his council in its efforts to curtail the spread of the disease is the influx of persons from other States, “we have now created a border checkpoint, to help reduce this challenge, that is after.
The Chairmen assured that the will follow the template given in distributing the palliatives given.
He urged well spirited individuals to emulate the gesture by reaching out to the vulnerable citizens in the council.