..,Promise to continue until end of lockdown
An Abuja-based eatery, COCKEREL’ Fast Foods has advised Nigerians to demonstrate their love for the less privilege, especially the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) during this COVID-19 lockdown period.
Mr Kingsley Obokhare, the Chief Operating Officer of the eatery at Area 1, gave the advice at the sideline of daily distribution of meals to children in Durumi IDP Camp, Abuja.
The programme was sponsored by the eatery in collaboration with the Corporate Kickers Sports Club (CKSC), a recreational football club, in the FCT and other well meaning Nigerians.
Obokhare said that the love should be shown especially by donating food stuffs and other essential materials that could protect or meet their needs during the lockdown period.
He said that the less privilege in the IDP camps needed assistance than ever before because of the stay-at-home order issued by the Federal and some state governments as part of efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-I9 in the country.
Obokhare expressed joy that the two corporate bodies were able to sustain their pledge of daily supply of meals to children in the camp for 22 days, since it started on March 30.
He said that the intention was to daily feed about 2,830 persons in the camp, but due to funding challenges, they could only provide for the children and sometimes the pregnant women.
“The initial plan was for two weeks but when the lockdown extension was announced, we decided to continue,” he said.
Obokhare said that with support they would provide meals for more people. He pledged that the programme would continue till the end of the lockdown exercise.
Also, speaking with NAN, Mr Ono Akpe, who represented the CKSC, urged well-meaning Nigerians, religious and corporate organisations to reach out to the needy during the lockdown just as they make donations to the government.
“N2,000, N10,000 will go a long way. You will be amazed at the kind of joy and happiness you give to families if you reach out with a bag or even a half-bag of rice or gari at this critical time,” Akpe said.
He pledged that the daily supply of about 200-300 plates of meal to children in the Camp would be sustained throughout the lockdown period.
Akpe said that they would sustain the succour and the joy they were bringing to the children in spite of the cost.
“We decided to come together with whatever resources we have, be it N5,000 or N10,000, and we put them together.
“Some of the staff of the restaurant donated half of their March salaries, and we asked ourselves how we could support the Federal Government’s initiative to bring succour to the less-privilege.
“Initially, we thought we will do this for just two weeks but the more we did it, the more we are excited and encouraged because we have brought so much joy to these children and we will continue to do it.
“We intend to continue as long as this lockdown is enforced. We will provide meals everyday for these children,” Akpe said.
He appreciated those who had supported the vision of the two bodies in meeting the needs of the children, including a child who donated N2,000.
“A child, my son’s friend, donated N2,000. This has provided meals for about four or five children. That is what we want.”
Akpe disclosed that the two bodies were about to replicate the gesture in other states, including Bayelsa, saying “we are mobilising Nigerians. That is the vision”.
The woman leader of the IDP Camp, Mrs Liatu Ayuba, commended the two bodies for coming to their assistance, saying there was hunger in the camp.
Ayuba said if it were not for the daily food being brought for the children for the past 22 days, the situation in the camp would have been very hard.
She said the first day that the food was brought, she kept half of its for the evening and some for the following day, because they were not sure of their next meal.
“We are glad this has been sustained for 22 days. Now the children know the time they use to bring the food. Once it is the time they will come and hang around to wait for them.
“Sincerely speaking, there is hunger in the IDP camp,” and urged government and other Nigerians to remember those of them in IDP camps.
NAN reports that the children were provided with soap and water to wash their hands before being presented the meal. (NAN)