Physically Challenged Persons Fight Over N15m NDDC Largesse
Pandemonium broke out on Monday at the Rivers State Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalist as a group of physically challenged persons engaged in a free-for-all fight over a N15m largesse from the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The group under the aegis of the Niger Delta Coalition of Persons with Disabilities, were addressing pressmen at the secretariat located along Moscow Road in Port Harcourt on how they had been marginalised by government and the NDDC when the fight broke out.
A member of the group, Friday Utobo, who hailed from Delta State and appeared to be the leader of a faction stormed the hall where the press briefing was held and slapped the President of the group, Mr. David Enogho.
Some of Utobo’s supporters, who also entered the conference hall, began to exchange blows with some executive members of the physically challenged group.
Efforts made by the state NUJ Chairman, Mr. Omoni Ayo-Tamuno, to stop the aggressive physically challenged persons from fighting did not yield any result.
The faction that invaded the venue of the press briefing remained unshakened despite threat by Ayo-Tamuno to invite the police to the secretariat. Instead, they vowed to “spill Enogho’s blood” for refusing to release and share the N15m NDDC largesse.
One of the aggrieved physically challenged persons, Jacob Ikegima, in his reaction said the NDDC gave the group N15m largesse which Enogho has refused to share or released.
Ikegima added that the NDDC also gave the group a brand new bus but none of the executives of the coalition had been able to tell members the whereabouts of the bus.
He said, “The NDDC gave us N15m and a coaster bus on December 3, 2014 to mark the World Disabled Day. Up till now, David (Enogho) has not told us where he kept the money and the bus.
“We want him to bring out the money so that members can benefit from it. If not, we are ready to fight and die here today.
“We are not outsiders; we belong to the same group. So, why would he (Enogho) continue to hide the money and bus the NDDC gave to us?”
Enogho, however, denied the allegations, adding that though the NDDC gave them a bus, the commission did not give the coalition any N15m.
He stated that those who attacked him at the state NUJ secretariat had been sending him threat messages.
Enogho further stated that the executive members of the group were currently looking for an organisation to lease the bus to so as to raise money for members’ welfare.
According to Enogho, his attackers were aggrieved because he refused to accede to their demand of selling the bus and sharing the money among the few of them.
“The aggrieved members have also threatened to kidnap me and that the ransom I am going to pay would be the release of that bus. But I will not compromise as the president of the group. The allegations against me are false,” Enogho affirmed.