From right: Dr Eric Kelechi-Igwe, Ebonyi state Deputy Governor and Dr Kenneth Ugbala standing at far left with another Gov’s aide in the middle during the handover ceremony at Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre, Abakaliki.
The Ebonyi government has received relief materials worth of N120 million from Victims Support Fund (VSF), a Non Governmental Organization.
The materials were handed over to the state at the Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre in Abakaliki on Friday.
The initiative the organization said was aimed at supporting the state in its fight against the deadly novel Coronavirus.
Gov Dave Umahi represented by his deputy, Dr Eric Kelechi-Igwe, in a speech during the handover ceremony commended the organization for the humanitarian assistance to the state.
Umahi assured that the materials would be distributed to the target population including the poorest and vulnerable members of the state who he said needed the most to overcome the hardship.
The governor who also commended Lt. Gen. Theophlus Danjuma (rtd) the vision-bearer of VSF for the donation prayed God to grant him longevity and good health.
He described Danjuma as an accomplished philanthropist who has devoted his wealth and life to the service of humanity especially those trapped by terrorism, insurgency and natural disasters.
Some palliatives donated to Ebonyi state by VSF
He said: “You are visiting at a time the world is witnessing a global challenge; COVID-19 is a global challenge and a global newness; I don’t know nothing about it and you don’t know nothing about it.
“It is an unfortunate danger and visitor to the world; TY Danjuma is household name in Nigeria’s politics, economics and in everything that has to do with nation building.
“We are glad that we are encountering him again, this is not our first encounter with him; he is one of the greatest philanthropists we have.
“At a point he felt that the nation needed an injection into its health services to stimulate its growth economically and in other areas of strength, he began a journey similar to this by intervening in the health sector and I’m sure Ebonyi benefitted.
“Today again, you are here wearing another toga in the form of VSF to interface with our state and show us love.
“If there is nothing the Coronavirus has done to world that we should be very proud of, it has brought to the world to practising one of the greatest injunctions in the scripture which is love, where we have been enjoined to become our brother’s keepers
“At a point the pandemic is eating and biting very hard, a single man, TY Danjuma metamorphosing into VSF chose to do what he is good at doing.
“It is only people with deep commitment of love and passion to help humanity can take the risk of traversing the entire country going to places you are not too sure of the security, contracting the COVID-19 virus in order to touch lives; it is only love can do it.
“We are happy that you have found our state eminently qualified to benefit from your philanthropy, we are grateful to you.
“We assure you that there will be fair and equitable distribution of the materials that you have brought ,” Umahi said.
Mrs Toyosi Akerele, Chairperson VSF task force on COVID-19 who presented the materials to the state government noted that the relief materials were meant to assist 2,060 households in Ebonyi to cushion the economic hardship occasioned by the pandemic.
She said that initiative was aimed at supporting efforts of Ebonyi government to assist the poor, indigents and vulnerables who were major Victims of the lockdown and its attendant economic challenges to overcome the pandemic.
She said VSF was a private sector initiative inaugurated in 2014 as a response to national emergencies to provide support, succour, rehabilitation and economic empowerment to people that were victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East.
Gallons of grand-nut oil donated as palliative to Ebonyi state by VSF
She said: “We think that more than the fact that Ebonyi has high degree of cases, we want to be able to support and consolidate the efforts that government is already making in supporting its citizens in the middle of the COVID – 19 pandemic.
” We understand that the livelihoods of people have been tampered with, companies are unable to function at full capacity and even governments are operating below capacity.
“People are losing jobs, economy is affected; so food is a major necessity in our survival which is why we provided the food palliatives and protective personal equipment for the front line medical workers in the state.”
Akerele led Prof. Sunday Ochoche, executive director of the fund and other members to the state.
Items donated include; thousands of 10-kilogrammes bags of rice, 10-kilogrammes bags of beans, 10-kilogrammes bags of garri, gallons of grand-nut oil, 50, 000 face masks, 30, 000 hand sanitizers, 2,090 safety suits, boots and safety goggles for medical workers.