FORMER Super Eagles skipper Mikel Obi has distributed 1,800 crates of eggs to vulnerable households across Nigeria as his contribution to the ongoing fight against coronavirus and measures to ameliorate the impact of the lockdown.
Nigeria currently has 981 cases of coronavirus and has suffered 31 fatalities with Lagos, Ogun and Kano states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja being the worst affected parts of the country. To prevent the spread of the virus, the federal government introduced two separate 14-day lockdowns across the FCT and Lagos and Ogun states while several state governments have also introduced local shutdowns.
However, these lockdowns have not been popular and have led to widespread disaffection as they have paralysed the economy and led to widespread scarcity. Due to the unique nature of the Nigerian economy that is characterised by my urban dwellers earning their living on a daily basis, many of the petty artisans and market traders in the big cities are unable to earn a living and face the threat of hunger.
To prevent the growing disenchantment growing into full-blown civil unrest, the government has distributed palliatives made up of food items and cash to the poor. Also, several wealthy Nigerians and corporate bodies have also made cash donations but the measures have not been effective enough as a lot of urban dwellers are going hungry.
Mikel, who just turned 33 and spent 14 years playing for the Super Eagles, winning 91 caps, waded into the crisis yesterday, funding the purchase of the eggs which were left on the doorsteps of people’s homes. He is the latest star to help people in Africa after Danny Welbeck donated relief packages worth over £10,000 to a community in Ghana and Wilfried Zaha offered food items, soap and clothes worth over £60,000 to people in Ivory Coast.
“Helping people to survive in these difficult times, my team today distributed 1,800 cases of fresh eggs to some of the poorest areas in Nigeria close to the farm. Let’s all try and help one another in this global crisis in anyway possible,” Mikel said.
Mikel is currently a free agent after leaving Turkish Super Lig club Trabzonspor in March over a dispute in the club’s handling of the pandemic. He is expected to resume his club career when the current ban on global football is lifted, although it is thought that his former club Chelsea have offered him a coaching role.