Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Leaders of the Isoko people in Delta, on Saturday donated food items to the vulnerable in the area as palliative to cushion the effect of the lockdown ordered by the state government due to prevailing COVID-19.
The items, worth over N15 million were donated to no fewer than 3,000 households in the 19 clans that make up Isoko North and Isoko South local government areas and selected households of Isoko people in Ndokwa East Local Government Area and Bayelsa.
Giving out the items to coordinators of the communities at Isoko Unity House, Oleh, Chairman, Isoko South Local Government Council, Mr Itiako Ikpokpo, said the gesture was in response to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s appeal to local government councils and well-meaning individuals and organizations to assist the less-privileged this period of lockdown.
He said that he partnered his colleague in Isoko North because they believed that Isoko nation was one irrespective of the political boundaries for administrative conveniences.
Ikpokpo thanked all donors to the course, including the National President of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Mr Kolade Alabi.
He said, “for the first time, we had all people from the various strata of Isoko contributing to this fund and over N16 million was raised for this project.
“These food items are meant for our vulnerable people in Isoko and our brothers and sisters in Ndokwa East and Bayelsa, and I must thank the President-General of Isoko Development Union, IDU, Chief Iduh Amadhe, for always giving them their due place.
“What we have done is to distribute two baskets of beans, one basket of rice, one basket of garri and two tubers of yam to each of the over 3,000 households in the 19 clans of Isoko, and we have volunteers leading in the sharing of the items with the list of the vulnerable already drawn up.
“We are happy that this is not politicized, because the intention is not politics but to reach out to our vulnerable people irrespective of their political or religious beliefs.”
On his part, Chairman, Isoko North Local Government Council, Mr Emmanuel Egbabor, expressed delight on the success of the project, saying that he was glad to be part of the epoch-making event.
He called for further collaboration between the two councils in the interest and unity of Isoko people.
“The truth is that I am very glad today because it is what God has destined for us the Isoko people.
“We have been able to coordinate all Isoko sons and daughters to be one in this project and I must commend the resilience and commitment of the committee members.
“COVID-19 does not know political party or religion; we are here today to support our less-privileged in these trying times.
“It is on record that at a time like this we stood together, not on political or religious divide, to bring succour to our people,” Egbabor said.
In his contribution, Managing Director of Delta State Oil-Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Chief Askia Ogieh, said that Isoko people were known for their care and generosity and wasn’t surprised at the amount raised from them for the project.
He advised the people to maintain regular personal hygiene and social-distancing while also observing the stay-at-home directive of the government.
In his remarks, President-General of Isoko Development Union, Chief Iduh Amadhe, showered encomiums on the people for their generosity.
He commended the chairmen of the councils for the gesture and called on religious leaders to call for prayers against the pandemic since it had no known cure at the moment.
Welcoming the people earlier, Chairman, Isoko Nation COVID-19 Reponse Committee, Rt. Revd. John Aruakpor, had disclosed that the Committee had the responsibility of raising funds for the project and identifying the less-privileged in the communities for the distribution of the palliatives.