Speaking with newsmen at the point of the distribution of the relief materials, over the weekend, the Rivers State CAN Chairman, Most Special Apostle Stanley Dimkpa, PhD disclosed regrettably that the body is yet to receive any palliatives from the State Government despite their request to be considered in their distribution.
He said that the materials they are sharing which included tubers of yam, bags of rice and beans and other condiments were made up to a reasonable quantity by the generosity of some of the religious leaders themselves for it to go round to a great extent.
“We had to task ourselves to add to what the DSS gave us in order to reach out to the grass root. However, we are hopeful to get more relief materials from other spirited individuals and groups and we shall make them available as they come to ensure that we include all especially the vunerables in our fold” he stated.
The CAN Chairman confirmed that the suffering and pains associated with the COVID-19 lockdown policy of the State Government is too much on the people, adding that there is need to relax them according to him some persons are living from hand to mouth or surviving on daily income.
While commending Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for all his proactive measures to combat the pandemic disease, Apostle Dimkpa advised the Central Working Committee of COVID-19 to review their policies which he noted appears to be on emergency basis because of the overall effect on the economy especially on the agricultural sector.
According to the CAN Chairman, “this is planting season and we operate on rain-fed agriculture. If farmers don't plant now, once the rains comes heavily, there will be too much pests, weeds and floods which will invariably destroy the seedlings. This will no doubt negatively affect productivity and increase cost of food for a long time leading to food insecurity, poverty and long sufferings in the State.
The State Coordinator of the CAN COVID-19 Implementation Committee, Pastor Ekiye C. Ekiye while also expressing appreciation to the DSS and other religious leaders in the State for their magnanimity assured that the body's stricture and its leaders sincerity of purpose made it possible for the relief materials to have a far reading effect on the members.
Ekiye, who is also the Obio/Akpor Coordinator of CAN explained that the Committee submitted distribution proposal to the CAN leadership and other stakeholders which was approved before they commence sharing.
According to him, “we shared the relief materials first to the five (5) families of CAN including Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN/PFN), Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) and Tekanekwa.
The sharing Committee Chairman also said the sharing formular included the 23 Local Government areas as well as the Youths and Women Wings of CAN.
He also disclosed that his Committee Members were drawn from the 23 LGA Coordinators, Rivers in Diaspora Unit, Legal Unit, Counseling and Medical Units, Education and Awareness Unit as well as the Prayer Unit.
With the above detailed arrangements, he noted, the beneficiaries went home happily with reasonable quantities of relief materials, advising the government to borrow a leaf from the Church Leaders.
Senior Ambassador Ekiye used the opportunity to commend the CAN Chairman, Most Special Apostle Dimkpa for Leadership qualities and proactive response to the fight on the coronavirus scourge.
“Most Special Apostle Dimkpa has indeed shown Leadership by example. Leadership of commitment, of sacrifice and of responsibility. These qualities are quite commendable and recommendable to every leader that is serving in every sphere of the society,” he said.
The General Overseer of Agapelove Community Church, Rumuokwachi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area equally used the opportunity to commend the three major group in the frontline of the health fight and appealed to the State and Federal Governments to adequately appreciate them and as well remember them in their palliatives distribution.
“These group include the Security Operatives, the Media Practitioners and the Health Workers who sometimes risk their lives in course of carrying out their compulsory assignments. They have families too who are hungry and devastated under the COVID-19 lock down,” he said.