Rivers begins distribution of palliatives to 23 LGAs

Lorine Emenike

Chairman of the Rivers State COVID-19 Palliative Distribution Committee, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, has stated that the focus of the Committee is to ensure that food items provided by the Government to alleviate the suffering of the people gets to the needy.

This, he said, is in accordance with the proactive stance of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, following the declaration of stay-at-home order to check Coronavirus infection in the State.

“We are all aware of the pandemic, Coronavirus, that is ravaging the world. Our Governor, Nyesom Wike, took proactive action, a bold step, he had the political will to say no, this will not come in here. He was the first Governor to close the borders.

“I’m sure you know that Rivers State has four seaports, and an international airport and we are bordered by six other states. We are a state that could catch this (pandemic) as fast as possible… But because he locked down the system, the markets are not there, and he discovered that lots of people are going through excruciating pains, especially the downtrodden.

“He considered that it was necessary for him to release food materials and set up this committee, the Rivers State Palliative Committee, and today, we started our action by distributing the food items. Our target is to get to the very poor and we have started with the social welfare homes,” the Chairman said.

The Committee, which started the distribution of food items at the Port Harcourt Children’s Home, also visited the Port Harcourt Remand Home, which houses rehabilitated children and teenagers, and Cheshire Home, which houses people with disability.

Others are Home for the Elderly, as well as the Widows Rehabilitation Centre at Iriebe.

In all of the places visited, representatives of the welfare homes thanked the Governor of the State for coming to their aid at a time like this and assured the Chairman and members of the committee that the items will be utilized to serve the purpose for which it was provided.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Committee charged the representatives of the various centers to ensure the recipients benefit from the provision and are well taken care of, adding that welfare checks will be done to ensure that targeted recipients are not shortchanged.

He also assured the people that the items will be distributed irrespective of party affiliations, religion or creed, noting that the 24-man committee comprises representatives of each religious group in the state, including military personnel, representatives of other organizations, non-partisan persons as well as representatives of the government.

Ambassador Akawor also stated that the food items will be distributed to the 23 Local Government Areas of the State in the next four days, beginning from April 8, 2020.

“Within the next four days, distribution will be made to the 23 Local Government Areas of the State, to ensure that indigent people are reached with the palliative items to cushion the effects of the closure of markets”, he said.

It will be recalled that the Rivers State Governor inaugurated a 24-man Committee last Monday to distribute food items to the needy across the State.