Rivers creates food bank, soon to start distribution; index case tests negative


* Distribution modalities being worked out

By Codratus Godson

The Rivers State government has at last created what it calls a food bank which was unveiled on Sunday in Port Harcourt, the state capital. The food bank seems to be a response to clamour by citizens in the past one week of lockdown.

The governor had first responded by allowing shops to open and promising other palliatives. Citizens have still called for food corridor which would allow vehicles carrying foods and medicines to enter Rivers State.

Now, Gov Nyesom Wike on Sunday 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.

Speaking on Sunday after inspecting the ‘State Food Bank’ established for the distribution  of the food palliatives,  Gov Wike informed that a State Committee will be set up to implement the distribution of the foodstuffs.

Wike was accompanied by Service Commanders who are members of the State Task Force on Enforcement of the Ban on Public and Religious Gatherings. Wike said; “Our intention is to ensure that we mitigate the impact of the sit-at-home directive.

At the food bank, the state government lined up rice, garri, beans, noodles, yam,  palm oil and salt to be distributed to the less privileged in all the 23 local council areas. The governor warned against the politicisation of the fight against coronavirus,  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 governor said that the state government is prepared to tackle the deadly virus.

He said: “For now, we are not 100 per cent ready, but we are about 90 per cent ready. Luckily for us, we have no serious cases.

“The confirmed case is doing very well. They have sent her samples and it came out negative.  The final sample has been sent and we are expecting the results. We are doing quite well. All members of the security council are working together to ensure that we prevent the spread of corona virus.”

On the monitoring of compliance by churches,  Gov Wike said the Task Force is happy with the level of cooperation from the Churches.

Gove Wike also inspected the progress of work at the State Isolation/Treatment Centre under construction. “We have visited this location to see the readiness of the isolation/treatment centre in Port Harcourt.  Even though they failed to deliver the job on Saturday as promised, we are confident in the next four days, it would have been completed”, he said.