By Evelyn Usman
As part of activities to mark its 64th anniversary, the Nigerian Navy, has distributed palliatives and Personal Protection Equipment, PPE to at least 1000 families in Lagos, with a view to ameliorating their sufferings, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The palliatives which included rice, beans, vegetable oil and other condiments, were distributed to 340 households in the densely populated Ajegunle area of Lagos, yesterday, while others were distributed to residents of Imoore and Apapa, a riverine community in Ori-Ade Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, as well those at Tongeji Island, earlier.
Speaking at the palace of the traditional ruler of Apapa/ Alayabiagba, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, explained that the gesture which was part of the Navy’s Social Corporate Responsibility was also in recognition of the partnership of the host community.
The CNS who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Murtala Bashir, noted that it was not the first time Alayabiagba, being one of the command’s host communities, would be benefiting from the Navy, recalling that they had benefitted from its medical outreaches in previous years.
He noted that the Navy decided to change from the regular medical outreaches because of the plights of residents in the face of the prevailing Corona Virus pandemic.
He said: ” The Nigerian Navy as a responsive organisation that takes into recognition the partnership with host communities, especially on the general populace, in carrying out its activities, considers it a role to impact on their lives because they also have a responsibility to assist us in our operation.
“We see this as a responsibility for us to always reach out to communities. In this particular case, concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to reach out to the vulnerable in the community, by way of supporting them”.
The palliatives according to him, were being distributed concurrently, in host communities around the Eastern and Central Naval Commands as well as other Units of the Navy, across the country.
He, therefore, called on the need for residents to key into the precautionary guidelines, as directed by the Federal Government, to contain the spread of the Corona Virus Disease.
To ensure adherence to these guidelines, such as maintaining social distancing, washing and sanitising of the hands as well as wearing face masks, the CNS said Personal Protective Equipment, like face masks, were added to the palliatives.
While applauding the Nigerian Navy’s gesture, the traditional ruler, Bale Yaya Ojora, assured that he would ensure the palliatives reached the targeted residents, as had been done in previous presentations by other corporate bodies and private individuals.
Explaining how the items would be distributed, Ojora, said , ” They will be distributed among Chairmen of Community Development Areas, CDA, market women, the National Union, Alfa and Pastors.
We will also go round compounds to give to indigent families. I won’t share it to this crowd because there will be disorder and violation of the Federal Government ‘s social distancing directive.
” We appreciate what the Nigerian Navy is doing for the people because this is Navy town, we have the Nigerian Navy barracks in Alayabiagba. So, whatever they are doing today, they are doing it for their people”.
Also present at the presentation of the palliatives was the Secretary, Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area, Remi Bela.
On her part, she appreciated the support of the Navy, describing it as a practical definition of Military/ civilian relationship, even as she expressed optimism that the items would reach the targeted individuals since it would be distributed by the traditional ruler who knew those concerned and where they lived.