As the people and residents of Ebonyi State await both federal and state relief to cushion the hardships of the COVID-19 lockdown, an NGO, Golden-Julius Foundation (GJF) has stepped in to distribute over 2,000 bags of rice and other food items worth millions of naira to the indigent and disadvantaged people in the Nguzu and Ebiri communities of Afikpo South local government area.
The Foundation also distributed over 3,000 face masks and hand sanitisers.
The Foundation, which is owned by a popular philanthropist and businessman from the area, Chief Julius Ama Orji, popularly known as Ochiri, has been a platform for offering scholarships to indigent students, orphans, and for the empowerment of youths and widows in Edda communities and beyond.
Speaking during the house-to-house distribution of the items, Chief Orji regretted that the COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed the sources of livelihood of many Nigerians and worsened the poverty condition of the people, stressing that there was an urgent need to assist the poor and the disadvantaged in every neighbourhood.
Chief Orji, who was represented by the former Vice-Chairman of Afikpo South local government area, Mr Okoroafor Ugwuocha, said the Foundation was moved by the level of hunger and sundry challenges being faced by the people because of the various restrictions imposed by the governments to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.
He noted that the gesture was to complement the various efforts of the governments and other public-spirited citizens in the fight against the disease and the accompanying hardship in the state.
“This is part of his efforts to cushion the effect of the lockdown directive by the government over the spread of coronavirus. We are giving out these COVID-19 palliatives in the form of bags of rice and face masks. It is meant for the elderly and vulnerable women and the less privileged. The palliatives were also to be extended to traditional rulers,” he said.
He advised the beneficiaries of the relief and the people of the area, in general, to adhere strictly to all safety protocols put in place by relevant authorities against the spread of the virus.
In his remarks at his palace Ezeogo Ugwuocha Obasi, the Eze Edda XXV of Nguzu Edda, commended Chief Orji and his Foundation for the donations, adding that it would go a long way to help the people at this difficult time.