By Amaka Ukoha
In line with the orders and guidelines mapped out by the federal and state government, to curtail the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that is wrecking havoc in the whole world, the traditional ruler of Isiokpo ancient kingdom, HRH EZE (Dr)Raphael Amanze Offonze (JP,KSM), Ezedike the 2nd of Isiokpo, in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, and his cabinet said, that the attendant of this year’s Isiokpo New yam festival, which is coming up on the 31st of July, is strictly restricted to only the village heads, who will carry out the annual igu afo iriji festivity, adding, that all activities that follow the festivity which attract crowd are therefore suspended.
Eze Offonze who stated this while chatting with the press on how to go about the 2020 New Yam Festival amidst the COVID -19 pandemic, pointed out, that the restriction is in compliance with the directives set down by the government to curtail the spread of the pandemic, adding, that he must ensure that the community adheres to the directives of the NCDC for both the state and federal government in that regard.
The Eze who disclosed that he and his people thought that by now, the COVID-19 would have been a thing of the past, called on people to mind the directives of the government to cushion and curtail the spread. He maintained, that the pandemic is even on a high rate presently.
He commended the Imo State government on its efforts towards the fight against the pandemic, by sensitizing the people and also distribution of palliatives, which, according to him, went a long way to curtail the spread of the disease as well as cushion the effect of hunger among people.
Ezedike also gave kudos to the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma for piloting the affairs of the state amidst the pandemic, especially, for fighting against the fraud in the pension system.
He condemned in its entirety, the attitude of some pensioneers who diverted the resources made for the public to their private purses, thereby impoverishing other members of the public, pointing out, that the past governors had no courage to fight such menace.
He also commended Governor Uzodimma on the creation of community policing and advised, that the already existing vigilantee groups in the rural areas be allowed to continue operating, with the view that the saying, “an investigator is the worst criminal,” might apply if they are discarded.
By Amaka Ukoha