By Ikeugonna Eleke
A Lagos-based philanthropist has anonymously donated mobility aids worth over N30million 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 to its members last Saturday.
The aids included 75 wheelchairs, five walking frames, 20 armpits and about 20 elbow crutches.
The donor said he chose to celebrate the season with the physically challenged and to make it a memorable yuletide for them. He said, ‘I do not wish to be named, because only God knows my intent in doing this. I do not want to take glory for doing it.’
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, whom, he revealed, was moved by his appeals for assistance from affluent citizens nationwide.
Okoli, himself a physically challenged Lagos-based entrepreneur, urged the ASCEND members nationwide to take the bold step of faith and take their destiny in their own hands.
He said physically challenged persons had all the mental and creative abilities just like any other person. He called on 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.
He said the Anambra State Government had never looked in their direction, either in form of welfare, employment to their members or to their 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 governor, 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,’ he said.
Also speaking, 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.
Oh Blessed, Special Night
Oh Blessed, Special Night,we herald.
The Stars bright, shining and smiling
Angels of God in wondrous announcing
Born today in a manger, they chorused.
Jesus Christ,our Divine Saviour is born.
Oh Blessed, Special Night we rejoice.
Our Emmanuel, long promised is here
Oh Holy Night, Our Saviour,our hope assured.
For yonder we behold a glorious morning
Jesus Christ, wonderful counselor in Bethlehem born.
Long laid our world in sin and chaos
Long laid our waiting for Messiah Christ
Beacon of hope, wounded world sings Alleluia
I hear the angel voice,see the shepherds
Drawing straying humanity back to heavenly home.
Oh Jesus, Lord, King of Peace
Heal us of Covid-19, Omicron and Hunger disease.
Take away the darkness,unease among brothers
Our land stained with blood cleanse
Love of thee Lord in us renew
Oh, Holy Blessed Night,Oh Emmanuel.
Remove the false pride and spite in us
Remove the slander fighting,lies and lust
Renew in us love of truth and justice
Oh wonderful counselor, King, everlasting peace!
I wish for just peace in Nigeria
End to Boko Haram, banditry, terrorism, killings
Health, prosperity, good governance to walk and talk
Electoral reform bills signed and upheld
Tis my Christmas wish, Oh new born King.
Oh Blessed Special Night we herald
The Stars bright, shining and smiling.
The angels of God in wondrous announcing
Born today in a manger, they chorused
Jesus Christ, Our Divine Saviour is born.