The novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, hit the world hard and spread fast like wildfire. In order to safeguard the lives of citizens and curtail the spread of the disease, governments started to lock down towns and cities. Nigeria wasn’t an exception. The Federal Government declared a total lockdown that lasted several weeks in Lagos State, Ogun State, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Several states of the federation also took the same measure.
The lockdown bit hard as several Nigerians living hand to mouth found it hard to cope with the harsh economic condition. Governments distributed palliatives but they were not close to being enough. It was then up to privileged individuals to complement the efforts of the governments in helping the poor. Lawmaker representing Anambra North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Stella Adaeze Oduah, was not found wanting. She consistently distributed food items to vulnerable persons to ease their hardship.
On Wednesday, May 13, 2020 the Senator Oduah palliative distribution team visited the Bishop’s Court of the All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha, bearing food items for distribution to indigent members of the Anglican Communion in Onitsha North, Onitsha South, and Oyi Local Government Areas of Anambra State.
Speaking at the presentation, the Director of youth organisations/groups for the Oduah political family, Mr. Osita Ozalagba, stressed the senator’s passion for uplifting the lives of the indigent and restated her strategy of reaching out to them through churches in all denominations. He said the lawmaker’s passion for helping the helpless explained why the team had been transversing the length and breadth of the senatorial district, distributing palliative items.
Also, on Thursday, May 13, 2020, the Oduah palliative distribution team visited the Diocese, bearing food items like bags of rice, tubers of yam and cartons of noodles to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Anglican Bishop of Mbamili Diocese, Reverend Henry Okechukwu Okeke, thanked the senator for remembering the indigent people of Anambra West.
“We are very glad that she is visiting the Anglican Diocese of Mbamili in Anambra West and thank her for remembering the people at this very critical time that has seen most economies and businesses crumbling, with hardship taking center stage.
“And so for her to look the way of our indigent at this crucial time is very encouraging and a very big incentive to the people, particularly to the Anambra West farmers who will need to have some form of encouragement before launching into their farms and so I want to thank her on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Mbamili and infact, on behalf of the entire Anambra Westerners because she didn’t only do this for the Anglican communion, she equally extended this gesture to the Catholics, Pentecostals, Widows in all the aforementioned Christian denominations and so many other groups,” he said.
On another occasion in June 2020, the Oduah distribution team visited the Assembly of God church, Anambra, and distributed over 800 bags of rice, and 2500 tubers of yam.
Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (Anambra State chapter) Bishop Moses Ezedebego, expressed gratitude to Oduah for providing COVID-19 palliatives to indigent persons.
“I want to show appreciation to the Distinguished Senator representing Anambra North, Princess Stella Oduah for her magnanimity and passion for the plight of the indigent among us.
“We are very grateful and I say this on behalf of PFN Anambra State that her love for the masses is overwhelming,” he said.
Oduah was born to Igwe D.O. Oduah of Akili-Ozizor, Ogbaru LGA in Anambra State on January 5, 1962. She received her Bachelors and Masters Degree (in Accounting and Business Administration respectively) in the United States.
She returned to Nigeria in 1983 and joined the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. In 1992, she left the NNPC to establish the Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Limited (SPG), an independent marketer of petroleum products in Nigeria.
Oduah was sworn in as a minister on July 2, 2011, and was deployed to the Ministry of Aviation on July 4, 2011, where she served until February 12, 2014.
In 2015, she was elected to the Nigerian Senate to represent Anambra North Senatorial District. She was one of the only seven women elected to the Eight Senate. The others were Rose Okoji Oko, Uche Ekwunife, Fatimat Raji Rasaki, Oluremi Tinubu, Abiodun Olujimi and Binta Garba. Oduah was re-elected for a second term in the Senate in 2019.
For all her efforts in easing the pains of the poor amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Stella Adaeze Oduah is our #ALEDEHCOVID-19Hero of the week.