By Festus Ahon
A foremost Rotarian in Delta State, Mr Joe Erharhaghen has called on Nigerians to be kind and compassionate to the physically challenged in persons the society.
Erhrarhaghen made the call when he led the physically challenged in Kokori community, Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state to a thanksgiving service, noting that there was no limit to what people with disabilities could achieve if given the needed love and support.
The Rotarian who also organised a lecture/reception for the people said he was inspired by his Rotary dictates and the teachings of Christ to always care for the less privilege in the society, adding that no matter how much wealth a man possesses if he fails to help those in need his wealth was worthless.
He said: “the physically challenged need our help very well. I had a friend who asked me if I have been to the north, and I said yes, he said you see those physically challenged begging on the streets, whatever you like you give them. But I look at him as being foolish no matter the amount of wealth he has. You don’t give them just anything like trash, you must support them with all you can.
“Some of them you see here are graduates, some are businessmen that are doing very well. Like the theme of the lecture says, ‘Ability in Disability’, there is no limit to what they can achieve, all they just need is care are support. At this point I will want to call on the government and well to do in the society to always care for those with disabilities, especially the physically challenged because from the lecture today we have understood that there are different levels of disabilities, you can be mentally disabled, you can be spiritually disabled, emotionally and others.”
Delivering a lecture on the theme, “Ability in Disability, Prof. Festus Arubaye charged the physically challenged to take up courage and venture into endeavours that would impact their lives and the society, adding that they should be inspired by their contemporary like Hellen Keller, Stephen Hawking, Christopher Reeves and many others who conquered their disabilities to impact their world.
While lamenting the increasing rate of sexual abuse, stigmatisation and other vices, against people with disabilities, he noted that victims of such vices were most likely not able to report their cases and even when they did were not taken seriously.
He called on government at all levels to up their concerns and protection for the physically challenged in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the physically challenged, the Public Relations Officer, Joint National Association of Persons Living With Disabilities, Ethiope East chapter, Mr. Okotuge Evans said they were happy by the gesture of Chief Erharhaghen as very touching, adding that he has always been a support to the course of the people with disabilities in the local government and state.
He called on other members of the society to emulate what Erharhaghen was doing, saying it would spur them to greater achievement and fulfilment in their life pursuit.