One of the most influential men the world has ever produced was Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, the father of modern India. His life and thought were the quintessence of peace and non-violence even in the face of provocation.
Undoubtedly, when Mahatma Gandhi remarked that: “The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane”, there are people who would have actually internalised and practised his submission. One of them is the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Sadly, for billions of people across the world, the Coronavirus pandemic is the worst humanitarian calamity that has befallen the universe so far. G
Globally, it has resulted in many deaths, infected us in millions, collapsed our healthcare facilities, disrupted our ways of life, worsened our economies, shut down our education systems totally or partially and left in its trail tales of woe and sorrow.
Clearly, in the past few years we operate more like machines than as humans. We are mainly motivated by profit, not humanity. Like animals, we care less about others— our neighbours— and the implications of our actions.
We live for the moment and that serves as the reasons what is meant for a large number of people are being enjoyed by a small group of people: an example of the COVID-19 palliatives.
As, it might be obtainable in some other places where people could not testify to the dividends of democracy, especially during the turbulent time of COVID-19, the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, aside from his ensuring that efforts were greatly directed towards the curbing of the spread of the disease, personally ensured that the CA-COVID palliatives which was provided by the government in collaboration with the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID- 19 (CA-COVID), to ameliorate the pains of the pandemic in the state were aptly distributed to the needy, physically-challenged and vulnerable in the society.
At the flag-off of the palliatives distribution in Abeokuta on October 5, 2020, the Governor remarked that “the food items would go round all the 20 Local Government Areas.” And as of now, before the beginning of the unrest, various vulnerable groups in ten (10) Local Governments have so far received the food palliative.
The distribution team led by the State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs, Barrister Femi Ogunbanwo also took the items to the residence of the underprivilege groups at Stella Obasanjo Children Home, the Juvenile Remand home, the Deaf Association and the Lepers’ Colony in Iberekodo, Abeokuta — where each beneficiary received a pack containing 10 kilograms of rice, five kilograms of garri, five kilograms of sugar, one kilogram of salt, two cartons of noodles and one carton of pasta.
Mr. Sotayo Olukunle, 36, a resident of Arinlese, Abeokuta South L.G said: “ I think we won’t get anything from the government again since COVID has finish. But Am suprise the Governor remember us. Am really happy about this”.
Similarly, Mrs Aina Somoye, 72, a visually Challenged woman at the Lepers’ home in Iberekodo expressed her happiness and amazement, in tears, when she remarked that she couldn’t believe the State Government could have been remembered the Lepers’ Colony.
In the Council areas visited so far, the Chairmen were full of appreciation to the Governor for his passion for the vulnerable groups. They commended the private sector led initiative for their support and the State government for its laudable efforts to combat the virus, as well as spread development to every corner of the State.
It is counselling to reflect on the words of Nelson Mandela when he said: “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” CA-COVID palliatives are meant for the citizens and anyone who denies them of this has challenged their very humanity.
It is sense-numbing that despite the heights of civilisation that modern men and women have attained, they cannot still explore the space of their hearts to discover the secrets of compassion— humanity.
At the end of the day, hundreds and millions of people are living in despicable sub-human conditions as a result of man’s inhumanity to man.
However, when the rationale behind all conflicts ravaging the world at large and various communities in particular are atomized, the real reason behind them is simple: lack of love.
This is exactly the point Mahatma Gandhi was making when he said, “The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace. Overall, the Ogun State Government has exemplified both love and compassion by sharing the CA-COVID palliatives to the residents of the state, more reason there has not been any form of vandalisation or looting of shops, houses or warehouses in search of palliatives— a commendable stride on the part of both the Government and the State residents.
Folorunso, Fatai Adisa writes in from Kuforiji Olubi, Abeokuta, Ogun State, via [email protected] Tel: +2348168380837
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