- Some government officials are distributing food to households in Abuja as the lockdown continues
- The officials are led by the senior special assistant to the president on social investment programmes, Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed
- They donated 100 bags of 5kg rice, 100 bags of 2.5kg bags of beans, vegetable oil and packs of noodles to 100 households
The senior special assistant to the president on social investment programmes, Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed has led a collective effort of other political aides to set up a food pantry to distribute food to households affected by the lockdown in and around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The aides are that of the president, vice president, Senate president and speaker alongside members of the Buhari New Media Centre, the All Progressives Congress Youth Forum (APYF), and other well-meaning young people.
On Wednesday, April 8, Ahmed led the entourage to Unguwan Gade in Kuje area council in the FCT, where they donated 100 bags of 5kg rice, 100 bags of 2.5kg bags of beans, vegetable oil and packs of noodles to a hundred households in the community.
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In his remarks, the presidential aide noted that the donations were being made from personal resources of himself and other aides and party members.
According to him, they felt a strong need to collaborate and pool resources together to distribute food to communities and needy homes, due to the lockdown announced by the federal government in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states.
His words: “We understand that a lot of families would be hit hard by this lockdown, especially those who live in the outskirts of Abuja. A lot of non-essential and small business staff who live on the outskirts of the FCT depend on daily economic activities to survive.
“A lockdown for them means that there is no income, and there is no food. This is why we pooled our resources together to distribute food to these particular persons who would be affected by the lockdown.”
He further noted that donations from the food pantry which he had set up are targeted at artisans, the aged and elderly, physically challenged, widows and single parents.
“When we go into the community we liaise with the community leaders to help us identify the poorest among them who are physically challenged, artisans, aged, and widows. We are targeting a total of a hundred households per community we visit,” he added.
Abu Andrew Abu, the coordinator of the project, stated that the team had visited Garki Village in the FCT the previous day, and would be visiting other communities that are affected by the lockdown.
“Those who are severely affected by this lockdown are everyday people who mostly work in the centre of town but live in the outskirts, in Suleija, Bwari, Nyanya, Mpape and Gwagwalada.
"We would be visiting these places and making donations to them. We also have in mind small indigent communities of masons and labourers even within the township area.
“We are aware that the government is doing its part in alleviating the sufferings of the poor. But there is so much that the government can do. We must bridge the gap, and that is what we are doing, in our own little way,” Abu said.
The entourage also visited the Gomo of Kuje, His Royal Highness Alhaji Haruna Jubril who commended them for their efforts and urged them to continue in this charitable work.
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