...Says Niger Delta Riverine Communities are Dying of Hunger
The National Coordinator and CEO of a renowned non governmental organisation NGO, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, Comrade Mulade Sheriff has appealed to Nigerians to support the steps taken by Federal and State Governments towards containing the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria. Chief Sheriff Mulade who is the Ibe-Sorimowei of the ancient Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State made the appeal in Warri, while addressing newsmen on the extra two weeks lockdown by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the decision as a welcomed development since it is in the interest and safety of all Nigerians. The CEPEJ Chief Executive said the additional two weeks would help the Government, NCDC and health workers to manage the spread of COVID-19, and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the bold step to save lives irrespective of political considerations. Speaking on the rise in confirmed cases to 665 as reported by NCDC, Chief Mulade appealed to the Federal and State Governments to consider the riverine communities of the Niger Delta Region particularly the densely populated communities in the creeks, whom he said are neglected in the whole process, by providing isolation centers, test kits and medicine, as well as train more health workers. He urged the authorities at all levels to provide the means of livelihood for the Niger Delta people, whom he said are the more poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians that need more palliatives, including the Federal Government's social investment programme. Chief Mulade also charged the Federal Government to use the additional two weeks lockdown to conduct a nationwide door-to-door covid-19 test on every Nigerian to ascertain the actual number of COVID-19 cases in the country so as to commence treatment immediately. He said if the Federal Government and the Ministry of Health could execute a nationwide door-to-door vaccination for children to prevent them from polio and other diseases, a door-to-door covid-19 test for all Nigerians should not be a problem. He strongly appealed to the Federal Government, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, amongst others, to give equal treatment to all Nigerians in terms of distribution of palliatives, cash provisions, test kits, medicine, and face masks to save lives, as we are all collectively involved in the global efforts at curbing the deadly disease.