By Ajibola Abayomi,
January 4, 2018.
They came in numbers trying to gain attention of dignitaries at the event for obvious two major reasons, to be served food and beg for alms to keep body and soul together.
But many of them were chased away. However, Mrs Bola Akioode, a United Kingdom based Nigerian had compassion on Alfa Yisa, and few other People Living With Disability (PLWD).
Her intervention saved them from being further embarrassed by some hostile guests at the ceremony at Ondo town, in Ondo State last year.
An elated Yisa and his group were later served with sumptuous meal and given cash by the Londoner who counseled other guests about the need to show love and care to PLWD.
She argued that as members of the society, the PLWD are creatures with “with ability in disability.”
Said Yisa, “I am happy that you had compassion on me, may God reward your kindness”.
Those are the words of the man after having heart to heart discussion with the woman who was moved with pity to make an impression on his life.
Apart from doling out cash to Yisa, and his other friends who fled the scene after achieving their aim for the day, she promised to buy an electric mobile wheel chair for him.
She had since returned to the UK and now expressing readiness to fulfill her promise.
The woman’s repeated calls and text messages aimed at directing the man to the location where he would have picked the wheel chair were unsuccessful as his mobile line no longer responding to calls.
Speaking with TheLead Online, Mrs Akiode said it was high time the society learnt to extend hands of fellowship to the needy.
“For the fact that someone is living with disability, that does not make the person a criminal or an outcast at all. They are part of us and we have a duty to assist them to fulfill their destiny in our little ways.
“Yinusa is one of such persons I was deeply torched to assist. He spoke with me about his challenges, and I was moved to hand over my widow’s mite to him. I will keep searching for contacts that can link me with him again because his mobile was not responding to calls nor text messages I have been sending.
“He was happy after he spoke with me at the occasion in Ondo last year. We spoke at length. For me, it was an honour to have the privilege to intervene and saved the situation when he and his friends were being harassed at the event. I think we should begin to change our mentality towards the PLWD in Nigeria.
“Time is ripe for us to make everyone feels sense of belonging in our country. Government too should do its bit to assist the PLWD beyond putting in place a law to protect their interest. There should be more political will to address their challenges. They need education, empowerment, care, direct employment and other good things of life” said Mrs Akiode.