Mr Oliver Wolugbom, Rivers Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), has decried the use of physically challenged persons to beg for alms for their own benefits.
Wolugbom said this in Port Harcourt on Friday at a one day workshop on the eradication of “chronically ill persons on our roads.”
The workshop was organised by Daughters of Charity, Catholic Diocese of Port Harcourt and St. Vincent De Paul.
He said it was inhuman for anybody to parade such disadvantaged persons to enrich themselves, noting that it was the social responsibility of citizens and government to care for the sick.
According to him, the agency has tried to sensitise those behind the act, but added that it was not easy to address the matter since it concerned finance.
He, however, said the government and NOA would take measures to compel those behind the act to stop.
Mr Young Ayotamuola, Head, secretariat, Strategic Committee on the Eradication of “chronically ill persons on our road”, said a cartel involved in the business.
“There are unseen hands in the act and most of the chronically ill persons are not from the state,” Ayotamuola said.
In his contribution, Mr. Davide Anyaele, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, Lagos, said disabilities made the victims and their families poor.
According to him, illness is both an economic and financial setback to families and capital-intensive to care for chronically ill persons.
He said governments at all levels were expected to budget for the sick and care for them.
The CEO noted there were few donors in the country and advised NGOs who depended on them for funds to maintain good working relationship with the donors.
Also contributing, Mr Iminabe Fubara, a Director in Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, said the state government and legislature should be involved in the care and rehabilitation of the ill persons.
Sister Gloria Anibonam, the Provincial Superior of Daughters of Charity, said it was inhuman to use chronically ill persons to generate income.
Aniebonam said that organisation’s aim is to eradicate chronically ill persons from the road by caring for them medically and rehabilitating them. (NAN)