One of the front-runners jostling for the ticket of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, ahead of the September 19, 2020 governorship election In Edo state, Osagie Ize-Iyamu has commissioned local tailors who would mass-produce face masks that would be distributed free to the people of the state. Ize-Iyamu, former secretary to the state government, SSG said his decision was informed by the compulsory wearing of face-masks order being enforced by the state government without providing the people the essential protective item. Many people have been convicted for violating the order.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown in the state, the governorship hopeful had been at the vanguard of providing personal protective items like hand sanitizers, liquid soap, food items and other palliatives to people across the state irrespective of political party. In furtherance of this humanitarian gesture, he has also reached out to Edo sons and daughters in Abuja, where the effect of the coronavirus disease is also biting hard with some support through the Association of Edo State Indigenes Abuja (AESIA).
The Association, with office domiciled in Edo House, Central Business District, is the umbrella body of all affiliate Edo associations in the FCT and has embarked on what it described as a ‘humanitarian advocacy crusade’ aimed at creating awareness on the disease and offering relief to identified Edo indigenes affected by the restrictions.
Finding their objectives to be in tandem with his, Ize-Iyamu joined efforts with the group and donated to the cause, a development that makes his interventions since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state the broadest and most expansive for any private individual, having first distributed food items and other sanitary materials to thousands of families across all senatorial districts in the state. Explaining the motive behind the move, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in a statement through his Support Organization said: “The objective of offering relief to our people wherever they may be in the country, and even beyond, at this difficult time is something we take with utmost seriousness. To achieve this, we have partnered with reputable NGOs and other interest groups for unprejudiced identification of affected persons and onward distribution of relief items.”
Acknowledging the good works of the association, Ize-Iyamu said “AESIA has been doing good work establishing and maintaining contact with our people in Abuja. So we thought it strategic to use the network of the association and its data to offer relief and hope to those who may be in need. As data from NCDC shows, Abuja is second only to Lagos in terms of the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and so we understand the toll this may have on our people. We believe reaching out to them at this hour and reassuring them that they are not forgotten is both the responsible and humane thing to do.”
The APC chieftain had earlier written letters of encouragement to Edo people in the Diaspora, particularly Italy and Spain where the virus has caused deaths in their thousands, urging them not to feel alone or despair.
Meanwhile, Ize-Iyamu, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG in his message on Sunday titled “The sacrifices God will not accept”, emphasized the need for sacrifice as Nigerians remain indoors in compliance with government directives to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Describing sacrifice as a “compelling issue” he was, however, quick to note that not all sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Taking his text from 1 Samuel 15:22, he said obedience to God’s word and instruction is better than sacrifice in defiance of His word, stressing that “As you attempt to please God in well-doing and other sacrifices, you must be conscious of His word and the need to abide by them”.
According to Ize-Iyamu, “We are told in Proverbs 15:8, ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord but the prayer of the upright is his delight’. Intercession and supplication are certainly sacrifices that please God; but He looks at the heart and not at the outward appearance. If you don’t forgive, keep malice, and harbour evil thoughts against your neighbour, your sacrifice cannot be acceptable”.
He said for one’s sacrifice to be acceptable to God, what is offered must show respect and reverence to God because “God is not a beggar” cautioning that one must be careful about what is given as sacrifice to God or even those in need. He said one’s relationship with God, would also determine the acceptability or rejection of one’s sacrifice. He advised that “As you make sacrifices therefore, consider and evaluate your relationship with God. We cannot continue in sin and expect God to accept our sacrifices”.