Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has conquered ina lot of battles as they relate to politics and has been fighting nonstop toconquer in governance. Mind you that politics and governance are two differentthings, even though that they walk on, together. And we all must join hand at this criticaltime of a second term and help Amaechi for our state not to fail.
While observers and stakeholders have extolled Amaechi forcertain accomplishments in governance, the social growth and demand of ourpeople intensify every day. This shows that there are still people who have notconquered their basic need of food, clothing and house etc residing in RiversState. These people were however cannot be said were distorted by thegovernment, but perhaps, by their fates. And they are today looking up to thegovernment for re-habilitation.
These people are not too far from us. They are one, two,three of the neighbours living on our streets. They have throat, but theirvoices cannot be heard, because they are not the fathers, mothers, sisters,brothers, nieces, nephews, uncles and aunts of the next neighbour to us livingin that expensive and expansive house and using that state-of-the-art cars andtravels to abroad at will, with the children attending school at any choiceschool around the world?
This is not an assumption. It is real. Some of them feedon the mound of that garbage. They are scorched by the sun and rained by therain and fell sick and are resuscitated by only their God and fate. Most ofthem have died and we made mockery of their corpses on our streets for weeks.And the environmental agents did eyes-right to empty the decomposing corpse,because there were no rich persons who stood for them to claim their corpses,and perchance, cough out money to the agency.
While we are defeating and have defeated in other basicneeds, we have not defeated how not to neglect and debase these inopportunepeople we live with, without much care to their wellbeing. You may see them asimpaired people or adjectively quantify them with any English words at ourdisposal or at our disapproval, they still remain vulnerable to the harshenvironment they didn’t create, neither did we create.
The Rivers State Government-led by Amaechi on itsinception of office on October 25, 2007, was seen arresting these people on ourroads and streets with their begging bags and demolishing their make-shift hutsand sending them to a rehabilitation camp somewhere in Rivers State for rehab.But it is either, like some government projects that have failed in the pastlike a pack of cards, the state’s Ministry of Health didn’t take the projectseriously hence these people have re-flooded our streets and roads with an embarrassingmettle to get money from the masses when one passes across their differentdens. Sometimes, the person you hugged on the crowding street is a mentallyderanged fellow.
In March this year, the media reported that a disabled beggarallegedly caused the disappearance of the reproductive organs of four men atRumuola, Port Harcourt. This is one out of the cases of social menace in thestreets. We are not talking about the high rate of kid beggars; some of themwear white skin. We must express concern over the increasing number of beggarsin Port Harcourt. Parents alone cannot check the trend, because it could bededuced that some of these people do not know who their parents are. There isan allegation that people pregnant women to beg for alms on the streets.
Some of the people who pose as agents to these peopleembarrass the masses with pictures of some eyesore people who needed help fromthe members of the public, because they could not afford the finance to augmenttheir frail health and their entire wellbeing. They walk into eatery centres,buses, in short everywhere, begging for assistance. Imagine you are eating andan irritating picture a protruding tumour-patient is posed before you? It isindeed, irritating, also.
Some of these impaired people who were fortunate (notenough) and their parents were able to take care of them still need our careand support. Have you not been hearing there voices on the radio and TVbeggarly telling the government the reason it should see to their plight? Butthe state government, without reservation, has been building schools andhospitals around the 23 LGAs of the state, but little are we sure it has reallybuilt the same to the vulnerable people around us or refurbish their existingones.
Just recently, the media reported that a new School ofNursing Complex was to be built in the Greater Port Harcourt City before theend of the tenure of the administration of Governor Amaechi. The StateCommissioner for Health gave this disclosure during an Interactive Forum withthe Management, Staff and the Students of Rivers State School of Nursing/PublicHealth Nursing, in Port Harcourt.
While the Commissioner was reportedly waiting for theinauguration of work at the new Nursing School site, Amaechi should re-directthe Ministry to revisit the project of evacuating the beggars and the mentallysub-mental people trotting everywhere and anyhow around us for rehab. Thoseamong them we hear their voices on the radios and TVs now and then should beattended to. The world and Rivers State should not only be meant for thehealthy people, an epitome that life should not be defined from the rose andcozy aspect.
Among the physically impaired brothers and sisters ofours, the project team of the state’s Health Ministry should also realize thatamong the impaired there must be the ones who would want to train as nurses anddoctors and also become commissioners by tomorrow; and we cannot afford alwaysseeing them dilapidating without a recourse to their plight. In earnest,Amaechi must set a team directed to evaluate the level of the menace thesepeople are facing in the state. Structures should be erected for them and ifthere are already existing ones, they also need renovation. With this, theworld would attest by tomorrow that the state branding and re-branding imagehad direct comportment on its masses without substantial possessions by onlythose perceived were fit. Moreover, countries in Europe and America we alwaysdraw equivalence from don’t ‘abandon’ their impaired ones to their fates. Theytreat them as beloved ones.
A stitch in time, they say, saves nine. We wish Amaechi the best.