Omos Oyibode, Asaba
The Nigerian Red Cross Society has said that with its seven globally accepted principles of impartiality, neutrality and others, it has saved many lives and restored dignity to the people it has come in contact with in carrying out its humanitarian activities across the globe.
The society spoke in Asaba, Delta State capital during the weeklong celebration of the international red cross day across the globe in commemoration of the birth of the founder, Jean Henry Dunant, a Swiss, who died on May 8, 1828, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Chairman of the society in Delta, Prince Olatunde Olasupo, gave details of the assistance the society had rendered to the people of the state, maintaining that its assistance were humanitarian assistance and based on the seven international principles of the society.
Giving statistics of its activities, Olasupo said the society has offered humanitarian assistance to over 500, 000 people who were victims of different natural and man-made disasters in the oil rich Delta State.
He said besides other humanitarian assistance it renders as the need arises, during the pipeline explosion that rocked Ijesse, Ethiope West Local Government of the state in 1998, the society was instrumental in assisting the people who were hospitalized over the incident.
He also said the society distributed relief materials to residents of Gbaramatu kingdom and Ogbe-Ijoh who were rendered homeless by the military invasion that destroyed the communities in the wake of the militant activities prior to the amnesty programme of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Aua.
He said the international red cross society in collaboration with the Nigerian body donated relief materials to the victims, saying its relief materials are donated without political consideration nor interference from any government agency.
Olasupo said since the creation of the state in 1991, the state branch of the red cross has made enormous strides towards saving lives and restoring human dignity to the concerned.
“This was clearly spotted during the 1998 Ijesse fire disaster where the red cross worked tirelessly to save the victims and give relief packages to the victims. Other cases in the state where we’ve done well is in the area of the Warri crisis, Okporoza and other communal crisis which would have more catastrophic but for the intervention of the red cross society”, Olasupo said.
He said their major activities are carried out in the rural areas where health care activities are inadequate, adding that the need to render health assistance to the rural dwellers informed the society’s interest in community health services which are primarily aimed at preventive measures.
He listed problem of finance, means of mobility and lack of secretariat to carry out their activities, hence he called on governments across board to come to their aid.