COVID-19: Abia begins palliative deliveries as Christian, Muslim communities receive cash, food

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, initiated support for those hit hardest by the lockdown in the state occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a brief ceremony held at the Government House, Umuahia, Governor Ikpeazu, represented by his Deputy, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu, handed food, funds and protective materials over to churches.

This he said, will be for the needy and vulnerable to keep the virus out of the state and control its spread in the event of any recorded infection.

Churches that received relief materials include the Catholic, Methodist, Assemblies of God, Apostolic Church and the Muslim community.

Palliative items they received include:

1. The Catholic Church
* 300 bags of rice
* 10 bags of beans
* Tubers of yams
* 300 hand sanitizers
* 5,000 face masks
* N6m to buy more food

2. Methodist Church
* 300 bags of rice
* 10 bags of beans
* Tubers of Yams
* 300 hand sanitizers
* 5,000 face masks
* N6m to buy more food

3. Assemblies of God Church
* 250 bags of rice
* 8 bags of beans
* Tubers of yam
* 200 hand sanitizers
* 3,000 face masks
* N5m to buy more food

4. The Apostolic Church
* 250 bags of rice
* 8 bags of beans
* Tubers of yam
* 200 hand sanitizers
* 3,000 face masks
* N5m to buy more food

5. Muslim Community
* 100 bags of rice
* 2 bags of beans
* Tubers of yam
* 50 hand sanitizers
* 500 face masks
* N1m to buy more food

Speaking during the event, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu expressed confidence that delivering the materials through faith-based institutions will eliminate political bias as well as ensure that the materials get to those who really need them.

He assured that the process will continue with other churches expected to receive in the coming days. He further stated that for those who may not belong to any church or mosque, the government will reach them using the state’s geriatric services agency, traditional rulers and president generals of community associations.

According to him, “We will not pretend that what we are giving is enough to go round everyone who may need it at this time but we aim to reach a minimum of 80% of vulnerable persons via a process that will continue tomorrow even as we hope that well to do Abians will continue to support our efforts by taking care of those around them at this trying time”.

Also speaking, Chairman of Abia State Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria, Apostle Emmanuel Agomuo, the Catholic Bishop of Aba Diocese, Bishop Augustine Echema, Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, Most Rev Chibuzor Okpoko, District Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church, Rev Dr Ogba Onyeije and the leader of the Muslim Community in the state, Sheik Ukiwe, all applauded the Government for distributing the palliative materials and pledged to ensure that those who need them receive them as soon as possible.

They called on citizens and residents of the state to ensure they obey the lockdown order to help in preventing the dreaded coronavirus disease from getting to the state.

In a brief chat with newsmen, State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, expressed government’s appreciation to private and corporate citizens of the state who contributed to the state’s COVID-19 funds and assured that the government is ready to do whatever is necessary to protect the people of the state from the virus.

He revealed that members of the
Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 will meet later to review the ongoing lockdown with a view to assessing its level of success against the set goals of the government and chart a way forward.

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