* Local council chairmen may handle it
By Gladys Nweke
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has announced that his administration has set in motion the platform for the distribution of food palliatives to Rivers people following the sit-at-home directive to check the spread of coronavirus.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt after inspecting the State Food Bank established for the distribution of the food palliatives, Governor Wike informed that a State Committee will be set up to implement the distribution of the foodstuffs. Governor Wike was accompanied by Service Commanders who are members of the State Task Force on Enforcement of the Ban on Public and Religious Gatherings .
He said, “We inspected where we kept the relief materials for our palliative programme. Our intention is to ensure that we mitigate the impact of the sit-at-home directive.
“We are going to set up a committee for the distribution of the foodstuffs meant to serve as palliative for Rivers people. At the State Food Bank , the State Government has rice, garri, beans, noodles, yam, palm oil and salt to be distributed to the less privileged in all the 23 Local Government Areas.”
Governor Wike warned against the politicisation of the fight against corona virus, saying all stakeholders must make sacrifices. “We say to our people, this is not a time to play politics. Nobody should play politics with the lives of people. Everybody has to make sacrifices to make sure everyone stays alive”, he said.
The Rivers State governor said that the State Government is prepared to tackle the deadly virus. He said: “For now, we are not hundred percent ready, but we are about 90 percent ready. Luckily for us, we have no serious cases.
On the monitoring of compliance by Churches, Governor Wike said the Task Force is happy with the level of cooperation from the Churches. He said, We are happy with the level of compliance that we have seen throughout Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas. The churches complied.
The Task Force monitored compliance at Omega Power Ministries, OPM, Saint Patrick’s Anglican Church, Rukpokwu and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa, Rumuibekwe. Governor Wike also inspected the progress of work at the State Isolation/Treatment Centre under construction.
Wike Inaugurates 24-Man Committee to Implement Palliatives
The Rivers State Government has set up a 24-Member Committee to work out modalities for the implementation of palliatives to cushion the hardship faced by citizens of the State as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, states that the Committee is made up of
Ambassador Desmond Akawor (Chairman), Mrs Inime Aguma, Dr Bariere Thomas, Chief David Briggs, Mrs Florence Amiesimaka, Mrs Stella Ichenwo, Mrs Anthonia Kpakol, Hon. Edison Ehie, and Mr Samuel Nwanosike.
Others are Hon Hope Ikiriko, Mr Latteh Loolo, ACP Innocent Umerie (Representative of Nigeria Police Force, Hassan Yahaya (DSS), Lt Col Bello (Nigerian Army), AC Mathew Pama (Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps), and Wing Commander Comfort Visah (Nigerian Air Force).
Also included are Lt Commander CJ Udeh (Nigerian Navy), Venerable Richard Okpara, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Diepriye, Monsignor Pius Kii, Archbishop Felix Ezebunwo, Mrs Vivian Braide, Prince Ohia, and, Paulinus Nsirim (Secretary).
According to the Statement, the committee will be inaugurated tomorrow, Monday April 6, 2020 at the Government House, Port Harcourt by 12noon.
Meanwhile, members of the Committee are to be seated at 11.30a.m, and attendance of the inauguration ceremony will be strictly for members of the committee.