Some inmates at the Iberekodo Leper’s Colony in Abeokuta, Ogun State, have cried out for assistance from well-to-do Nigerians and the government on the need to cater for their well being and the education of their children.
They submitted that due to their ailment they have been rendered helpless, but there is still a need to cater for themselves and their children.
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They spoke while receiving some food items from a non-governmental organization, JAW JAW Africa on Friday morning.
Speaking on their challenges, the Chairman of the colony, Jimoh Ahmed, advocated for soft loans that can enable those who can still do petty business to start some trade.
He said, “Another problem we have here is security, every day we are only sure of going to bed but waking up is God’s doing. Our colony here is too porous. There are exit routes everywhere. Before now there are no houses around us but development has made people build houses all around the colony.
“At night, the whole of this place will be in total darkness exposing us to more risk but what can we do? So, if you ask me to make a request now, I will appeal for solar street light, even if it is just two that we can get, we will forever be grateful.”
The Secretary of the colony, Folorunso Lukman, called for increased attention of the public and other civil society organisations on their children.
He said, “We have accepted our cross but please in God’s name help our children. Our present situation has frustrated some of our children out of school to learn either a trade or handwork after learning, we still don’t have money for them to start up or buy work tools for them. Please we didn’t bargain for this but it happened, we have accepted our fate. We haven’t failed until we can not help our children to make good lives for themselves.”
Responding, the convener of JAW JAW Africa, Victor Eniola – Mark, requested a data of out of school pupils, students as well as the lists of other pressing issues in the colony.
He noted that the NGO priotises issues affecting children, youths women and the elderly.
Mark promised to place premium urgency on the installation of street light adding that security must come first in all human dealings.
“We will work with you and as well with our friends who we know should be able to help in achieving a more comfortable life for you all,” he said.