By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State government has distributed 100 bags of its Emergency Food Response stimulus packages to households in Ajewole Street, Ajegunle, in Ikorodu Local Government Area of the state to complement the earlier palliatives shared on the same street.
The gesture came, following complaints by residents of the street over what they termed “inadequate” distribution of stimulus packages.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, who led the state delegation to distribute the stimulus packages, explained that the governor heard the plea of the residents of Ajewole Street, asking for more food as the ones brought there earlier did not get to all the households.
According to Omotosho, “Mr. Governor then ordered that 100 more packages be brought to the street and be shared to households that had not got anything.
“This is something that started as soon as the Federal Government announced this lockdown. The governor said the poor people in our society shouldn’t be left to their own devices and that the state government was going to package food to give to the poor, who are at the lowest rung of the ladder and we have been doing that.”
Each of those packages contained five kilogrammes of rice, five kilogrammes of gari, three kilogrammes of beans, seasoning, as well as tomato and pepper mix.”
The commissioner stressed that the state COVID-19 Emergency Food Response Initiative was aimed at reaching out to households, while giving preference to the aged, vulnerable and indigent.
He stressed that apart from providing food to over 200,000 households, the Initiative has created jobs for over 350 persons, who were gainfully engaged in different sections of the food distribution chains.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Chukwunwe Ike Okpa expressed great joy on receiving his own package and thanked the governor for coming to the aid of people in Ajegunle Street, in Ikorodu.
He said: “I am thanking our governor for the things he sent to my area. He watched our plight on the news and he answered our call because there is nothing for us to eat in this area.
“I thank him for listening to us. He will reach the next level. I heard how he has been fighting this coronavirus in Lagos and I can say that he’s doing well.”
In Ikosi-Isheri LCDA…
Similarly, residents of Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area have benefitted from the COVID-19 food relief package of the council and the state government, since the beginning of the Federal Government lockdown in the state on March 30.
Chairman of the LCDA, Princess Samiat Bada, said over 10,000 residents have benefited so far.
Bada, speaking shortly before the commencement of distribution of food relief package to youths across the seven wards in the council area, explained that the first phase of the food distribution exercise took place on April 2, when the first edition of her administration’s monthly food for the widow and the aged programme was carried out in all the seven wards of the council.
She added that food bags containing rice, beans and gari were distributed to 2,500 widows and the aged, from 65 years and above, during the exercise and it coincided with the commencement of the lockdown ordered by President Buhari, as part of measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Bada, explained further that a similar exercises were carried out a week later, when the stimulus package of the state government arrived at Kosofe Local Government Area and a large number of residents of Ikosi-Isheri benefitted from the food package tagged “COVID-19 stimulus package.”
She said: “The foodstuffs were handed over to leaders of all the community development associations in Kosofe LGA, Agboyi-Ketu and Ikosi-Isheri LCDAs by the Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment in Lagos State, Yetunde Arobieke, who was personally on ground to supervise the exercise.”
She said the rationale behind the food relief package being distributed by her administration was to ensure that residents of the council, most especially the vulnerable ones, would not have any excuse not to obey the stay at home rule.
She added: “At the local government level, we have ensured that all the vulnerable people like the widow, the aged, disabled, artisans, transporters, religious and community leaders as well as petty traders have benefited from our food relief package, and the goal behind this is to ensure they have food to eat as they stay at home.”
Princess Bada noted that recent spate of attacks and armed robbery cases recorded in some parts of the state informed her decision to extend the food relief package to the youths of the council.
She commended them for not engaging in any criminal activity since the lockdown began and appealed to them to continue to be law abiding, promising to continue to make their welfare a priority.
The “Mayoress” as she is fondly, called, assured the residents of the council that her administration would continue to devise various means of cushioning the effects of the lockdown on them.
The environmental health officials, in the last three weeks, have been visiting major markets, public places and residential areas within the council to carry out fumigation exercise as part of measures to curtail the spread of the virus.