Ladi Kayode, Abeokuta
Following the outright condemnation that trails the abandonment of a indigent man in his 70’s who has resorted to begging to make ends meet on the street of Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital a non governmental organization has moved to his aid.
The Union report that efforts by Gender Development Initiative,(GENDI), to rehabilitate the man has met a brick wall from the family of the victim as none was willing to partake in the plan.
Sources said the victim, Samuel Olayinka Olanipekun, whose children are said to be doing well in their various endeavour, has posed a nuisance as he was always sighted moving from street to street begging for food and the situation has not gone down well with residents of Abeokuta as such an elderly was exposed to such an inhuman and degrading condition.
Our source said the man was sighted by the Chairperson of GENDI, Dr (Mrs) Olubunmi Ashimolowo as the man lay on the road side along Iyana mortuary area of the town and she moved to lend a helping hand to assist him.
It was gathered that unsatisfied with the condition the man was exposed to she asked for assistance of some onlookers and symphatizers who rescued the victim, and located his home at Olomowewe in Isale Abetu area of Abeokuta.
Ashimolowo, told our correspondent that efforts to contact his children proved abortive, but an elderly woman who is said to be the one catering for her was seen.
“On May 21, I was driving along Iyana mortuary road in Abeokuta, I saw a man lying along the road and in critical condition with another man of average age watching over him’.
‘Passersby were watching the helpless man who looked well over 60. I became inquisitive and decided to park my car. On interaction with the young man watching over him, I was told the old man was epileptic.
‘I was told he was recuperating and I demanded to know if he fell headlong and probably needed to be taken to the hospital but I was told he didn’t and luckily two ladies passersby who identified the man joined with others lifted him into my car and we were able to locate his home.
“My Interactions with community members living at Olomowewe, Isale Abetu revealed that the man has many children who are successful in their endeavours. Efforts to make the children more responsive to taking care of their aged father had proved abortive as only the aged mum meets his primary needs and he survives by moving round the town soliciting for financial assistance and his children has abandoned him.
“Efforts to reach out to the family members proved abortive as the phone numbers of his children failed to go through while other community members who wanted to remain anonymous said similar efforts to rehabilitate the man in the past failed as the children were not responding.
“I succeeded to contact one family member Mr. Sanusi, who said he knows the victim but said he would have nothing to do with his welfare and all attempts to involve him to organize a family meeting make failed as he was reluctant to give information about other family members that can assist.
“ I went to discuss with the victim’s aged mother who looked well over 90, who explained that his children were not bothered over the man.
“Will he continue to live without adequate care? What happens to the man when his aged mother passes on. These and many more are our concerns as well meaning Nigerians. This is a reminder that adequate awareness need to be created on the fact that epilepsy is not an infectious disease. We should always render assistant to victims on time’, Ashimolowo posited .