In South Africa, Nigerian spirit is rekindled, share COVID-19 palliatives

By Editor on 23/04/2020

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NICASA President, Benjamin Okoli handing out food parcels in Johannesburg

The current COVID-19 scourge has rekindled the traditional Nigerian spirit of being the brother’s keeper, as its nationals in faraway South Africa, seem to have cast aside the ugly shadows of high crimes to protect and uplift each other at a period of high uncertainty, fear and discomfort.

In gestures that have suddenly put the country in the news in the country for the good reasons, Nigerian groups, corporate and private individuals, have used the opportunity created by the pandemic to show love to their nationals and South Africans alike. 

Top on the list is the Nigerian Citizens Association of South Africa (NICASA) and the Nigerian Union (NUSA). Their presence was felt in almost all the the provinces, especially Gauteng, with the highest concentration of Nigerians in the country, where they handed groceries and food parcels to the needy and the vulnerable. Benjamin Okoli, the NICASA President, told Executive Editor in Johannesburg, that the campaign became necessary because of the urgency posed by the hardships Nigerians were passing through and thanked individuals and groups who donated to the campaign, especially the Nigerian Doctors Forum, that contributed massively and which his group received through the Nigerian Missions. Similar sentiments were expressed by the President of NUSA, Mr Olubajo Atetola, who also reached out to Nigerians.

The President of the Nigeria Doctors Forum, Emeka Ugwu told that they considered it a duty to assist Nigerians who may have been displaced by the pandemic, adding that they had also extended free medical attention to those that showed symptoms of coronavirus.

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NUSA President, Adetola Olubajo handing out food parcels in Johannesburg

He enumerated many other humanitarian & environmental efforts that the group had carried out in the past successfully.

Though the Consular General of the Nigerian Consulate, Godwin Adama, could not be reached to ascertain if the government had any plans for the lockdown that is likely to be extended, one Edwin Nwankwor, a Nigerian resident told, that he was doubtful of any assistance from the Nigerian government, given what he called “the traditional insensitivity of our government to us.”

The President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo SA, Chief Julius Osakwe, said the Igbo apex group was disturbed by the living conditions of majority of Ndigbo in South Africa, which represented over 80 per cent of the Nigerian population.

Bemoaning the hardship the pandemic was causing the people, he said his team would be approaching the home government on a sustainable solution.




Posted on April, 23 2020

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