Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Investment Programmes, Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed has led a collective effort of other aides of the President, Vice President, Senate President and Speaker alongside members of the Buhari New Media Centre, the All Progressives Congress Youth Forum (APYF), and other well-meaning young people to set up a food pantry to distribute food to households affected by the lockdown in and around the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The SSA to the President led the entourage to Unguwan Gade in Kuje Area Council, today where they donated 100 bags of 5kg rice, 100 bags of 2.5kg bags a of beans, vegetable oil and packs of indomie to a hundred households in the community.
In his remarks, Ismaeel Ahmed noted that these donations were being made from personal resources of himself and all the other people mentioned above, explaining that they had felt a strong need to collaborate and pool resources together to distribute food to these communities and needy homes, given the lockdown announced by the Federal Government in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States.
“We understand that a lot of families would be hit hard by this lockdown, especially those who live in the outskirts of Abuja. A lot of non-essential and small business staff who live on the outskirts of the FCT depend on daily economic activities to survive. A lockdown for them means that there is no income, and there is no food. This is why we pooled our resources together to distribute food to these particular persons who would be affected by the lockdown.” Barriser Ismaeel explained.
He further noted that donations from the Food Pantry which he had set up are targeted at artisans, the aged and elderly, physically challenged, and widows and single parents.
“When we go into the community we liaise with the Community leaders to help us identify the poorest among them who are physically challenged, artisans, aged, and widows. We are targeting a total of a hundred households per community we visit.” Abu Andrew Abu, the coordinator of the project stated that the team had visited Garki Village in the FCT the previous day, and would be visiting other communities that are affected by the lockdown.
“Those who are severely affected by this lockdown are every day people who mostly work in the centre of town but live in the outskirts, in Suleija, Bwari, Nyanya, Mpape and Gwagwalada. We would be visiting these places and making donations to them. We also have in mind small indigent communities of masons and labourers even within the township area.
“We are aware that the government is doing its part in alleviating the sufferings of the poor. But there is so much that the government can do. We must bridge the gap, and that is what we are doing, in our own little way.” Abu said.