By Ebi Perekeme
The people of Asari-Toru Local Government Area, ASALGA received the directive of the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control, (NCDC) to shut down for 21 days following the sudden demise of the executive chairman of Area, Odiari Princewill, who was said to have died from coronavirus with mixed feeling.
A statement signed by the Vice Chairman of the Council, Mrs Alaso Johnbull-Obi, ordered the residents to adhere strictly to the directive.
But some of the commuters in an interview appealed for palliatives to enable them to cope with the economic woes during the 21- day period.
However, residents of Degema, Asari Toru, Akuku Toru, Bonny and Okrika Local Government Areas in Rivers State were thrown into joy after receiving palliatives from an indigenous oil firm, Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,(NNPC).
The residents of the above Local Councils comprising over 60 communities, said the gesture would ease the sufferings occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Those expected to benefit from the palliatives include pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, youths and adults.
The items distributed by the firm include several bags of rice, cartons of noodles, tomato paste and vegetable oil.
Representatives of the communities while receiving their portions of donations at their respective liaison offices in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Councils of the state, we’re grateful that the gifts would help the communities cope with the COVID-19 hardship.
Speaking after receiving the items on behalf of their communities, the Head of Pollyn Chieftaincy Houses in Kalibiama Grand Bonny, Mr Bill Pollyn and one of the Cluster chairman, Mr Firimabo Okunga, expressed joy that the donations would help to address the current economic woes faced by their people.
They thanked the oil firm for the kind gesture and promised to deliver all donated items to beneficiaries at the communities.
Speaking during the donations, the company’s Operations Manager, Emmanuel Thompson, said the company’s move was informed by the need to cushion the hardship occasioned by COVID-19 in the communities.
Thompson said, “Eroton has earlier participated in interventions in the communities led by NNPC under the independent petroleum producers group, which is an organisation of indigenous oil-producing companies and in that intervention we provided ambulances, COVID-19 test kits, surgical and non-surgical masks (N-95), hospital bed, googles and oxygen concentrators, that was our second stage.
“Our first stage of the intervention was the sensitisation of host communities, provision of face masks, sanitisers and hand gloves. The host communities are divided into five clusters cutting across 60 communities.” (he Guardian)