For residents of the state university, Adekunle Ajasin University (AAUA), Akungba Akoko in Akoko South Local Government Area of Ondo State, their joy knew no bounds at the weekend. Their sons and daughters, home and in Diaspora under the aegis of Akungba Leaders’ Forum (ALF) put a smile on their faces following donation of a- N3millon worth of palliatives to cushion harsh effect of the ravaging Coronavirus and the lockdown declared in the state by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
After outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic otherwise known as COVID-19, Nigeria like other countries of the world has been worst hit with 5,959 cases, 182 deaths and 1, 594 discharged patients as at Monday.
Determined, however, to curb its spread, the federal government declared a total lockdown and curfew in some states like FCT Abuja, Lagos, Ogun and later Kano where tens of deaths were recorded within 48hours.
This has also forced other states where the COVID-19 had been recorded, like Ondo State, to restrict residents’ movement with a view to curtailing the spread of the deadly disease. Specifically, in Ondo State, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had on April 14th, 2020 declared a 7pm-7am curfew in the state in a bid to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the state. Akeredolu said the curfew became imperative following rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.
Apparently armed with a series of effects being created by the virus and the lockdown on indigent Akungba and the vulnerable in the university community, Akungba Leaders’ Forum (ALF) at the weekend took the bull by the horns and launched a palliative drive to cushion effects of the pandemic.
ALF’s convener and Akinrogun of Akungbaland, Chief Alaba Yusuf said members were unanimous to give back to their motherland in the era of COVID- 19 to complement government’s palliatives to the community. He said: “Just two weeks ago, on behalf of the Crown, I, as the Akinrogun of Akungbaland, called for a-N3m medical and food palliatives cum public health advocacy for people of the University Town of Akungba Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State.
That clarion call to return sanity to humanity was heeded by many illustrious sons and daughters worldwide. “Today, 15 May 2020, we unveiled the reality from afar. Kudos to all committed members of Akungba Leaders’ Forum, home and abroad, under the able leadership of HRM, Kabiyesi Oba Isaac Sunday Adeyeye, Ajimo III, the Alale of Akungba Kingdom.
However, items donated included 80 bags of 50kg rice, 70 customised/branded buckets, large quantity of nose masks and sanitisers, 140 cartons of Indomie noodles and 14 bags of table salt. Receiving the palliative items on behalf of Akungba residents, the Alale of Akungbaland, Oba Isaac Sunday Adeyeye, Ajimo III, commended ALF for the gesture extended to its homestead during the lockdown so as to cushion effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Oba Ajimo said: “The Palace is really motivated and invigorated by the sheer size of affection and compassion demonstrated by our indigenous people in Nigeria, and in the Diaspora.
“I cannot but appreciate the roles of two of our prominent ambassadors, my able chiefs, who facilitated this project, with the kind support of our kith and kin around the world. “Without mincing words, a new era of love, unity and development is being heralded in Akungba Akoko. I have also taken it upon myself to personally call and pray for the contributors to this noble project; our common patrimony.
He added that, “we must not lose sight of the very reason for this season of humanitarianism. The donors are giving to let you stay at home while the evil wind of Coronavirus blows past our homes and land without casualty.
“Generous gifts of food and other items from kindhearted individuals, non-governmental organizations (NGO), caring groups and even the state government have been entering our homes since March, to alleviate poverty and stem the tide of starvation in our University Town. I, on behalf of all of you express gratitude to these giving hands. May they never lack in kind or cash.