The Anambra State branch of the Nigerian Red Cross Society on Friday, May 8, at her headquarters in Awka, joined her sister societies all over the world to mark this year 2020 World Red Cross Day, with the theme: Provide Palliatives and be the hero” with a further called on wealthy individuals and corporate organizations in the country to intensified their humanitarian gesture for the less privilege living among them to cushion the effect of the global disease.
Tribune Online gathered that the day which was in commemoration of the founder of the organization, Jean Henry Dunant who was born on 8 May 1828 in Geneva, Switzerland was being held simultaneously every year in the 187 member nations of the Red Cross Society.
In his speech at the event via physical or social distance arrangement, the Anambra state chairman, Nigeria Red Cross Society, Professor Peter Emeka Katchy, noted that the theme of this year’s World Red Cross Day Celebration; ‘Provide Palliatives And Be The Hero” was in recognition to motivate wealthy bodies in the society to do more for the vulnerable ones while the campaign to contain the pandemic continued.
He then traced the history of the Nigerian Red Cross Society from the time it was a branch of the British Red Cross till 1917 when it first appeared on the corridors of the nation to April 1951 when the headquarters of the Nigerian Branch of the British Red Cross was established in Lagos by the Governor-General.
Following the official handover in 1961, the Nigerian Red Cross Society became Independent.
While reeling out the seven cardinal principles of the society to include: impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality, Prof. Katchy, called on the federal government to establish Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in the 36 states of the federation and FCT, according to him, it would encourage rapid response to all disaster management activities and to alleviate the hardship of the most vulnerable and provision of substantial palliatives at any occurrence like the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
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He again urged the federal and state government, organized private sector, captains of industries, resourceful entrepreneurs to embark on rapid rehabilitation and virile development of all facets, for the seek of welfare and wellbeing of every Nigerians, as soon as COVID-19 is properly annihilated.
He commended the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano for the grandiose achievements, targeted towards changing the fortunes of the people of the state amidst COVID-19 lockdown.
Also speaking in her vote of thanks, the vice-chairman of the Red Cross Society, Mrs Rita Ngozi Nzekwu, thanked all and sundry especially the state government for its immense support to the Red Cross society and promised that the state branch of the Society would not relent in all their humanitarian supports to the good people of the state.