From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The Speaker, Abia House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, has solicited the support of the wealthy for the less privileged in society to better their lots and reduce the burden on the government.
Orji who made the call during the Bawas/Doris Uche free medical outreach at Amuzukwu-Ibeku in Umuahia observed that the global economic meltdown had worsened the plight of the poor.
He challenged the economically advantaged citizens not abandon the poor folks to their fate.
“Empowerment work is not for one person; When the government takes care of you, you should take care of others”, Orji argued.
The Speaker also said: “If you are rich, let it get to others,” adding that government alone should not be left to cater for all.
Orji lauded the philanthropic spirit of the sponsor of the free medical outreach, Chief Uche Akwukwuegbu ( Bawas); his wife, Grace, and daughter, Mrs Doris Folake, a United States of America based transport executive for empathising with the poor.
No fewer than 2000 persons benefitted from the free medical outreach which also featured distribution of palliative items to the less privileged.
The outreach featured 20 medical doctors, including general doctors, dentists, oncologists, optometrists, surgeons and other medical personnel including pharmacists and nurses who were on ground to attend to patients.
The beneficiaries received free medical consultations, eye screening, drugs and healthcare lectures.
Later in an interview, Akwukwuegbu said the annual gesture was in fulfilment of his desire to always identify with the poor having himself come from a poor background before God bettered his life.
The Traditional Prime Minister of Ibeku Ancient Kingdom, who also doubles as the National President of Nigeria Association of Traditional Prime Ministers, said he had decided to spend the rest of his life to better the lots of the needy as much as he could.
“It gives me joy to always help the needy and I will never relent”, he vowed.
He disclosed that the programme was funded by his daughter, Mrs.Folake, the Chief Executive of a US-based Essential Plus Transportation Inc.
Akwukwuegbu said that this year’s event was designed to benefit every resident of Amuzukwu including non-indigenes.
“Last year we attended to indigenes of Amuzukwu but this time, we are reaching out to 2000 Nigerians irrespective of their tribe.”
In an interview, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs Christiana Okafor, who got a pair of glasses, after undergoing eye screening, expressed gratitude to the sponsors and prayed God to replenish them.
Speaking also, the traditional ruler of Amuzukwu Autonomous Community, Eze John Ibezim, commended Chief Akwukwuegbu and his family for the gesture.