By Robert Awokuse
It was ecstasy for residents of Alaba in Ojo area of Lagos as members of the Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN), Alaba International Market, put smiles on the faces of no fewer than 500 homes as the association provided relief resources for the people.
This came in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which has necessitated a stay at home order by the government since March 17.
The palliatives, which included a pack of rice (6.25 kilos net) and some cash, were presented to the beneficiaries amid strick compliance with social distancing order.
The chairman of the association, Fabian Ezeorjika, who led delivery of the palliatives, said the gesture became necessary to cushion the effect the lockdown has brought on many homes.
Ezeorjika noted that while the gesture was primarily for indigents whose livelihood directly depended on services within the electrical section of the market, however the need to extend to other residents became inevitable.
The chairman, who lamented that many people are finding it very difficult to feed following extension of the lockdown, urged the government to do more in providing palliatives to residents of the state.
He harped on the need to maintain social distancing and regular hand washing to prevent the pandemic.
“Lagosians are hungry”, he lamented. “A hungry man is an angry man. We as individuals and association are concerned about the condition of many of these people, especially the truck pushers and other poor persons whose livelihoods are connected to this our market (electrical appliances) section of Alaba International Market.
“And the hunger strike has been on for long now. And for many of these people who live on their daily services within this market the situation has not been palatable at all because even before the federal government declared a total lockdown, Lagos had already been on partial lockdown,” the chairman stated in an emotion laden voice.
While noting that the lockdown was good in a bid to contain the virus, the chairman however called on the government to provide more palliatives for the people to ameliorate the hardship.
He further acknowledged all those who made the gesture a reality.
Many of the beneficiaries expressed delight in the gesture, thanking the association for the donations.
“This is a very good thing for us; it will sustain us for a while. We are all hungry as we don’t have anything to do since the market has been under lock and key because of the lockdown order by the government,” one of the truck pushers whose livelihood is dependent on the market stated amid tears.