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By: Ade Adetona
The Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, has declared that the media and journalists are critical in winning the fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic in the country through their unrelenting sensitisation and enlightenment of the people on how to prevent further spread of the disease.
The Speaker also sought special palliative support for the media professionals in the country to enable them cushion effects of being on the frontline of battle against COVID-19 pandemic.
Oleyelogun who stated this in Akure while presenting palliative items to workers of the Assembly and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo state council, as part of his support to cushion the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the media practitioners.
Among the palliatives presented to the NUJ are foodstuffs and hand sanitisers.
Oleyelogun described the palliatives as his little way of appreciating the efforts and support the lawmakers were enjoying from journalists in the state especially in enlightening the public and helping government at combating COVID-19 in Ondo state.
“On daily basis, you play essential roles in the fight against this COVID-19 in Ondo state. These little palliatives include rice, beans, salt, hand sanitisers and cash. I believe it will go a long way in cushioning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Journalists in our state.
“I consider your duties as very essential, particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic. Like health workers who are in the front line of the treatment of the Coronavirus Patients, you journalists are also in the fore front of educating and sensitising the public on the deadly virus.
“You give us update on the COVID-19. You also give publicity to all the efforts of government to tackle the virus, so I appreciate your efforts, Ondo State House of Assembly, the state government and the entire citizens of our dear state appreciate you. The Lord will continue to protect you and your families in the discharge of your duties.
“Apart from members of the pen profession, the welfare of my staff at the Ondo State House of Assembly is of paramount importance to me, most especially at this critical period,” the Speaker said
He opined that, “In the light of this, I am also presenting palliatives to them as a way of extending my love to them at this trying period. This is to cushion the socio-economic effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
“Before now, I have distributed large quantity of palliatives such as rice, beans, salt, hand sanitisers, and soap to the people of my constituency in Ifedore.
“We also extended this kind gesture to the people of my Federal Constituency in Idanre Local Government. I equally reached out to members of my church, Soul Winning Evangelical and Spiritual Church, Oda town.
“I want to appeal to NUJ again to help us tell our people to continue to obey all precautionary measures put in place by the NCDC and the government to stay safe. They should stay at home, maintain social distancing, wash their hands regularly with running water and use hand sanitisers”, the Speaker said.
Receiving the palliatives at the Speaker’s Lodge, the Ondo state Chairman of NUJ, Comrade Adetona Aderoboye, appreciated the Speaker for being compassionate and kind to members of NUJ and the entire people of Ondo state by extending the gestures to different segments of the society.
“No doubt, you have been doing excellently well as a legislator, as Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, as a community leader and as a servant of God
“This gesture will go a long way in ameliorating the suffering of the vulnerable among us”, the chairman added.
Aderoboye promised continued support of the NUJ for the Assembly and the state government to ensure the state remains the pride of place for all to live in.
On his part, the Clerk of the House, Mr. Bode Adeyelu, who received the palliatives on behalf of the staff of Assembly, specially appreciated the Speaker for his fatherly love and support for the staff, describing the gesture as first of its kind.
Adeyelu equally thanked the Speaker for making the welfare of the Assembly staff paramount to him, adding that the food palliatives would go a long way in alleviating the pains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as it would put food on the table of the people.