*75 wheelchairs, 40 elbow and armpit crutches, etc
From Chuks Collins, Awka
A Lagos-based unidentified benefactor has donated mobility aids worth above thirty million Naira(N30m) to physically-challenged citizens of Anambra state.
The beneficiaries under the aegis of the Association for Comprehensive Empowerment of Nigerians with Disability (ASCEND), Anambra State chapter took delivery of, and distributed the mobility aids including seventy-five(75)wheelchairs, five(5)walking frames, twenty(20) armpit and about twenty(20)elbow crutches.
The donor who chose to celebrate a memorable Yuletide for the physically challenged persons in the state was however not named, according to his wish.
Making the presentation, the National President of ASCEND, Chief Cosmas Okoli who took delivery of the items in Lagos and conveyed them to Awka, commended the donor who he revealed was moved by his appeals for assistance to affluent citizens nationwide.
Okoli, himself a physically challenged Lagos-based entrepreneur, while urging the ASCEND members nationwide to take the bold step of faith and take their destiny in their own hands admitted they have all the mental and creative abilities just like any other person. He called out the State/Local Governments and rich Nigerians especially those from Anambra state to rise up to the challenge and donate towards making life easier for the physically challenged in the state, just like the anonymous donor.
Chief Okoli who is the chief executive of a number of enterprises and an employer of Labour challenged the Anambra state government to adopt a more positive disposition towards the physically challenged persons in the state.
He pointed out that “the Anambra State Government has never looked in our direction, either in form of welfare, employment to our members or to our children, training, scholarship, or assistance in any form.
“During the administration of ex-governor Peter Obi, we organized five different functions, all of which I attended, the then Gov Obi was physically present at these events but sadly never contributed a dime to our welfare or assistance. The incumbent administration has also never assisted us or even sent a representative to any of our events. It’s indeed a pity.
“Our biggest problem is lack of government support. Many of us have intense creative and entrepreneurial talents waiting to be tapped. If you empower a disabled person, you are building the nation”, Okoli noted.
The South East Coordinator of ASCEND -Mrs Hope Ngwube and the state Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Okafor who officiated and supervised the distribution of the items expressed profound gratitude to the benefactor.
A multi-Olympic medalist and member of the association, Mr Patrick Akutekwe described Okoli as a motivator and an embodiment of courage and encouragement who gingered him into taking up sports even to world stage where he won laurels. He commended the donor for assisting them and pealed to more people to help them in diverse areas like employment to enable them take care of their families.