By Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Nnewi
UMUNZE—INDIGENES of Orumba North and South living in Lagos have distributed over 10,000 face masks to the rural dwellers in their native communities to guard them against the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
The donation was made under the umbrella of Orumba Forum. According to the group, the gesture was part of an enlightenment campaign to their people at home to make them realize that COVID-19 is real and the need to protect themselves from the virus.
The event, which took place at Orumba South Local Government Secretariat, Umunze, was witnessed by the Transition Committee Chairman, Mr Cyprian Okereke, and his Orumba North counterpart, Mr Ikwueto Obinna, as well as some the traditional rulers from the two councils.
Presenting the items, the Vice President of the Forum, Mr Chike Sibudu, explained that they discovered that their people at home do not believe in the existence of the COVID-19 pandemic, hence the need for the enlightenment.
He said their action became necessary as the virus was being spread in communities in five council areas in the state.
“Some of our people believe that COVID-19 pandemic is the disease of the rich and white people and not for the poor. It is an erroneous belief because every category of people contract it worldwide and also in Nigeria. That is why we have come with the masks to make our people believe in the existence of the pandemic to curtail its spread.
“It may not be possible to produce millions of face masks that will go round, but this is very significant and symbolic in the sense that it would be used for proper education which is one of the greatest problems in contending the virus.”
“We live in Lagos and we have seen so many people who were victims including one of us and it was not funny while going through treatment even in a developed city line Lagos and that is why we are here today for this enlightenment campaign.
“Orumba Forum has been of immense assistance to its people living at home with various palliative measures and we considered the face masks campaigns as well as other protocols very vital for the villagers to stay save”, Sibudu said, flanked by other officers of the forum.
Receiving the items on behalf of the two councils, the Chairman of Orumba South Local Government Area, Mr. Okereke commended members of the Forum for remembering to protect their people at home. He noted with regret that the rural dwellers do not even believe the existence of the virus let alone contracting it, nor do they obey the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control protocols.
He assured the Forum of an even distribution of the quantities of face masks and appealed to the traditional rulers present to help educate their subjects on the dangers of breaching the COVID-19 protocols.