From Mokwugwo Solomon, Awka
No fewer than 1000 Awka North Local Government Area internally displaced flood victims last Tuesday received assorted food items and relief materials worth millions of naira from the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor.
Bishop Ezeokafor, who donated the items through Justice, Development and Peace Caritas, JDPC, Awka Diocese, at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp located at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Awba Ofemili, said he was deeply touched by the plights of the affected individuals, saying that he was shocked to the marrow on seeing the pitiable and devastating pictures and videos of victims struggling for survival.
“I did not know that the level of havoc caused by the floodings in Awka North was that huge until a priest sent pictures of the damage to me. I felt for the victims immediately. This is the time to show them love and support. We are here today to sympathize with them and prove to them that they are not alone,” the prelate said.
He further reiterated his commitments towards helping the afflicted persons, and the downtrodden in society, assuring that the diocese would not allow them to live like people without hope.
While sympathizing with the victims, the prelate called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo to expedite action towards the construction of Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Ugbene-Awba Ofemili road, noting that the deplorable condition of the roads in the area called for urgent intervention.
“Fixing this road will open up the area,” he said. “It will also enable farmers to evacuate their farm produce to urban areas, as well as quicken the recovery of the affected victims. This road has been in a sorry state for a very long time. It is time that government fixed it once and for all.
“These persons need something that will make them smile again. They need serious attention. Constructing this road will go a long way in bringing them back to shape, and reckoning. Visiting and assisting flood victims should be a collective responsibility. Let’s not leave it for government alone,” Bishop Ezeokafor added.
He thanked Gov Soludo for flagging off the road, and also for mobilizing the contractors by 50%, stating that the APGA-led administration is very serious in fixing all the bad roads in the state.
Earlier in a remark, the Awka Diocesan Chancellor, Very Rev Fr Charles Ndubuisi, enjoined the victims not to despair but to always believe in God’s ever presence, noting that God would not leave them at their trying moments.
Also speaking, the director of Justice, Development and Peace Caritas, Awka Diocese, Rev Fr Levi Ukor, thanked Bishop Ezeokafor for his fatherly love and care. He also urged the flood victims to take solace in the fact that the universal church remembered them through the bishop.
Responding, the parish priest of St Paul’s Catholic Church, Awba Ofemili, Rev Fr Joseph Nwailo, expressed gratitude to God for the gift of Bishop Ezeokafor. He prayed God to continue to bless and keep the bishop whom he described as a true shepherd.
Items presented to the flood victims include 200 tubers of yam, 100 cartoons of noodles, seven bags of crayfish, seven bags of salt, 50 bags of 10kg rice, 20 cartons of groundnut oil, 25 rolls of tissue papers, five bags of beans, three bags of cassava flour (Ntu Akpu), 20 cartons of biscuits, one bag of egwusi, one bag of ogbono, one bag of onions, one bag of maize flour and 10 cartons of tomatoes.