By Evelyn Usman
For the first time in the history of the Lagos State Police Command, a Woman Police officer, distributed palliatives to over 500 families within Aswani, Okota and Isolo areas of Lagos State, to cushion the impact of the gradual ease of lockdown.
Among the beneficiaries were about 200 widows.
In addition, cooked food was also distributed to family members who throng out of their apartments to have their share.
The initiative code-named COVID-19 Outreach, according to the Aswani Divisional Police Officer, CSP Oyin Frances, was to extend a hand of help to widows and underprivileged families whom she said were most affected by the present situation.
She explained further, that it was also borne out of the desire to sensitize members of the public on the need to adhere strictly to the precautionary measures outlined by the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control, NCDC to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the communities.
Addressing the beneficiaries, the majority of who were women and children, the cop emphasized the need for them to wash their hands regularly, observe social distancing, wear face masks and also use hand sanitizer.
To ensure strict adherence to the directive measures, she also distributed alcohol-based sanitizers to the beneficiaries and ensured they used it before coming forward to get their packs of the palliatives which included raw beans, rice, detergents, noodles and other condiments.
Addressing them, she said: “ They need to follow these preventive measures can never be overemphasized. Collective prevention and care will help defeat coronavirus pandemic and help us return to our once safe environment and by extension, ensure security”.
Most beneficiaries expressed surprise that such a gesture was coming from the Police.
For Mrs Akeju Peju, a widow with five children, she said: “ If someone had told me that a policeman or woman would do this, I would have had a rethink.
“ When we were told to come for the palliatives, we thought it was being organized by the government or even a politician. It was not until we had collected them that news went round that the woman that distributed them was a Police officer. This gesture has shown another side of the Police”.
Another beneficiary who simply gave her name as Mrs Ibeabuchi, said, “ This is a Police angel. She has disabused my mind of the wrong mentality I had for the Police. Now I believe we still have good officers in the Police. The food I collected today, will feed my family for one week”, she stated