Ms Joyce Adewumi, a sister to one of the Nigerian COVID-19 victims in the U.S. has called on Nigerians in the diaspora to show compassion to one another, especially relatives of coronavirus victims.
Adewumi, who lost her elder, late Mr Jonathan Adewumi, to COVID-19, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that COVID-19 had caused devastation and pains to the victims’ families.
Jonathan was a popular U.S.-based Nigerian, who operated the popular Amarachi Restaurant, in New York that attracted many Nigerian celebrities and served as a converging point for Nigerians in the U.S.
According to the younger sister, people need to have compassion for those, who lost loved ones adding, this is a difficult time for a lot of people, like never before.
“This is a difficult time for a lot of people; we are dealing with the loss of families and friends; we are dealing with so much during this time.
“So, we need to have a little bit of compassion for one another, so that we can get through this together and when this phase is over, we will see a more united community.
“We, victims’ relatives, are going through a lot right now but I think, we can get through it by being there for one another,’’ she said.
Adewumi, who is Cultural Ambassador of the Consulate-General of Nigeria, said people did not need to wait to lose someone or contract COVID-19 before they believed that the pandemic was real.
“I lost my immediate elder brother to COVID-19 and we see people passing away on my street every day.
“Please, you have to protect yourself, the virus is still very much around; this is the time to take more steps to protect yourselves.
“We don’t know when this will end but even with the vaccines, continue to wear your masks, use hand sanitiser and sanitise your tools if you need to’’
She commended the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija and officials of the consulate for organising a memorial ceremony for the Nigerian COVID-19 victims.
She said: “Egopija has proven to us that he has passion for Nigerians; this has made us comfortable and happy.
“The event has made some of us who lost our loved ones and still grieving, to be comforted, knowing that the consulate cares about us. We are grateful for that gesture.”
Some Nigerians referred to the 57-year-old late Adewumi as the person, many called when they needed to make business and personal connections in the U.S.
For many, Adewumi united the Nigerian community and made everyone, who came to Amarachi Restaurant feel at home.
He was also seen as a trailblazer, who helped to introduce African fabrics into the city’s pop culture in the 1980s and 90s with the creation of Nigerian Fabrics and Fashions, a company he started with his two siblings. (NAN)