COVID-19: Abia govt hands over N40m, 4,000 bags of rice, sanitizers to Christian, Muslim groups

By Ugochukwu Alaribe & Eric Ugbor

Following the lockdown in Abia State over the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has handed over N40 million, 4,000 bags of rice, sanitizers and face mask as palliatives to different churches and Muslim groups in the state.

Other items distributed to the churches and Muslim groups include tubers of yam, bags of beans, among others.

Speaking at the handover ceremony at Government House, Umuahia, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, who was represented by his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, expressed confidence that delivering the materials through faith-based institutions will eliminate political bias as well as ensure that most of the materials get to those who really need them.

Ikpeazu urged the Christian and Muslim groups to ensure that the palliatives gets to the downtrodden in their midst and assured that the process will continue with other churches expected to receive in the coming days.

He further assured that those who don’t belong to churches or Muslim groups would be reached through the state’s geriatric services agency, traditional rulers and president generals of community associations.

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“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,” the governor said.

Among the churches who received relief materials through their representatives include the Catholic Church, Methodist Church, Assemblies of God Church, The Apostolic Church and the Muslim community, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Anglican Church, Apostolic Christian Church Mission, Salvation Ministries, among others.

While expressing gratitude to the government for the donations, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Abia State, Apostle Emmanuel Agomuo; Catholic Bishop of Aba Diocese, Bishop Augustine Echema; Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, Rev. Chibuzo Okpoko; District Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church, Rev. Ogba Onyeije and the leader of the Muslim Community in the state, Sheik Ali Ukiwo, pledged to ensure that the items will get to the intended beneficiaries.

In an interview with newsmen after the presentation ceremony, Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, expressed the 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 has put in place necessary steps to protect the people of the state from the virus.


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