Senators representing Edo State at the National Assembly have donated two trailer loads of food items to support the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.
The senators are Matthew Urhoghide, representing Edo South Senatorial District under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Clifford Ordia, representing Edo Central under the PDP and Francis Alimekhena, representing Edo North under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The relief materials donated to the state government include rice, beans and Indomie noodles, which will serve as palliatives to cushion the adverse economic effects of the pandemic in the state.
Receiving the items, Governor Godwin Obaseki said though the senators are not the highest-ranking Edo indigenes in Abuja, but they have deemed it fit to support the state government with the food items in order to ameliorate the suffering of Edo people in the wake of the pandemic.
Obaseki noted that without waiting for support or donations, the state government took bold steps to ensure it contains the spread of COVID-19 in the state, adding that the health and wellbeing of its citizens remain paramount.
He added, “This support is uplifting because sometime last week, some people started playing politics with the situation on ground instead of collaborating with the state government to fight the scourge.
“We are doing a lot in the area of healthcare, as we have trained 4,200 healthcare workers to help in the fight against the COVID-19. We are doing massive screening and in our first week we screened over 54,000 persons and the target for us is to screen 100,000 this week.
“Out of these, we intend to test and collect a minimum of 100 samples each day and the goal is to screen 500,000 residents in the state and test a minimum of 5,000 samples. This will help us understand the spread of the virus and how best to stop it.”
Senator Urhoghide, who spoke on behalf of the members of the upper legislative chamber, commended the effort of the state government in curtailing the spread of the virus across the state, noting that their support was prompted by the determined efforts made by the state government.
He continued, “It is wise to collaborate and support the government noticing the determination and purposeful leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki in curtailing the spread of the disease.
“At the federal level, the 109 senators have donated 50 percent of our salaries to support the Federal Government to face the challenges. At the state level, these food items are our contributions to support the Edo State Government that has done a lot already to ensure the spread of the virus is halted.
“Following our contribution at the Federal level, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development asked us to contribute by bringing names in addition to what the state governments have done as regard the Home-Grown Food Programme and Conditional Cash Transfer. This is not a political issue, but the focus is on the vulnerable and needy in the state.”