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COVID-19: Edo Lawmaker Bonds With Constituents, Fetes The Needy



Across political board, residents of Igueben local government area of Edo State recently troop out in their numbers to receive palliatives including leaders of the opposition party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the people and powered by Hon. Ephraim Aluebhosele, an All Progressives Congress (APC) member representing Igueben State Constituency in the state House of Assembly. YEMISI OKUNLOLA Reports 
Sixty seven years old Mama Mary Amenze have only heard the word palliative from rumours making rounds in her community but have never seen it in actual sense any palliative since the stay at home orders in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic that has ravaged several nations including Nigeria with Edo State having its share of the virus.
Mama, as fondly called is one of the hundreds of people in Igueben local government area of Edo State benefiting from the palliatives powered by a member of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Ephraim Aluebhosele, an APC member representing Igueben State Constituency.
Being the first palliative the people of the local government area will see since the advent of the pandemic, many in the area were taken by surprised to see assistance reaching them through their representative.
No doubt, the restriction of movement in the state had impacted on the people hugely going by the outpour of joy at the sight of the food items donated to the communities by the lawmaker.
Like Mama Mary, Mrs Margret James, 34 and mother of three who is one of the needy that benefited from the gesture, said the “food items couldn’t have come at a better time than the lockdown period when it is most needed”.
The COVID-19 Pandemic may have brought upon Nigerians negative impacts but certainly, it has ignited the spirit of love and care in the country with a massive show of support from the ‘haves to the have not’ and all those caught at the centre of the crisis.
With over 172 cases of Covid-19 reported in Edo State, life in the state became altered as measures put in place by the state government to stem the spread of the virus although commendable, but not without an impact on the lives of the people.
On recently, in responding to the yearning of his people for some form of assistance from the government to cushioning the impact of the pandemic, the first time lawmaker of the APC, Hon. Ephraim Aluebhosele, who is also the chairman, Budget and Appropriation and Wealth Creation Committees of the Edo House of Assembly in his characteristic manner chose to identify with his Igueben constituency at a time of need.
The needy were handed over 100 bags of 50kg of rice, 200 bags of 10kg rice, 200 bags of 5kg beans and 20 cartoons of vegetable oil with 220 cans.
The beneficiaries were drawn from all the political wards of Igueben including the leadership of the APC and the PDP in the LGA.
As the people file in their numbers amidst social distancing and strict adherence to protocols, the faces of the beneficiaries relays relief which justifies the very essence of the palliatives.
LEADERSHIP learnt that the gesture by the lawmaker was generally viewed as uncommon considering the fact that it was extended to non APC members in the LGA.
An opposition leader in the LGA who also benefitted from the palliative, Mr Paul Ojieho who is also the PDP leader of Ward III in Igueben LGA said: “This is the first time since the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have been hearing that there are palliative materials giving to people here and there but this one is so real and unique to us here.”
Another beneficiary, Mr Ignatius Obeta, told LEADERSHIP that: “What Hon. Aluebhosele has done today has been his tradition even before his election into the Edo State House of Assembly; he has always come to the level of the needy in this LGA.”
For Chief Amos Izebhijie, a former Nigeria Union of Teachers, state chairman, Edo State “the lawmaker’s gesture has all embracing irrespective of political differences in the area”.
Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included Chief Jonah Ifada, member, House of Assembly Service Commission and some chieftains of the APC in Igueben LGA.
The palliative may have been coming at an unusual time, LEADERSHIP learnt that gestures as this has been done in the past to people in the LGA including some 300 bags of rice given to the needy. According to the residents, it has gone a long way in ameliorating the challenges of the people.
The lawmaker also recently, completed a block of 10 classrooms of Igueben Mixed Secondary School, rehabilitation of Igueben township roads as in the state budget of 2020.
Speaking to LEADERHIP, Hon. Aluebhosele said a committee was raised to identify the needy following the stay at home orders following the pandemic to select those to benefit from the palliatives.
He promised that the exercise will be continued and urged the people to imbibe the culture of safe sanitary practices by adhering strictly to government spelt out protocols on the prevention of the virus.
He said: “I felt it was wise as the representative of the people, I should try as much as possible to see what I can give to my people, the indigent, and the poorest of the poor palliative measures-food items which I did today.
“We all know before now that even when people were 100 per cent active, you still find some people for one reason or the other cannot make ends meet, these are the people we are trying to assist.”