23rd March, 2012
Inmates of Hansen’s Lepers Colony at Iberekodo in Abeokuta, have appealed to the Ogun State government to increase their monthly allowance of N3, 000 and ensure its prompt payment.
The community leader, Ezekiel Ayinla made the call, when members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the state council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists visited the colony on Thursday.
NAN reports that the visit was part of the week-long activities marking the 2012 Correspondents’ Week.
The leader, who spoke through one of the lepers, John Ojoawo, lamented their fate at the hands of the last administration in the state and urged Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, to intervene.
Ayinla noted that whereas lepers under local government councils were been paid N5, 000 those under the state government receive only N3, 000 monthly.
“They divided us into two; some under the local government and some under the state government.
“The amazing thing is that those under the local government collect N5, 000 but thosee under the state collect N3, 000 and it is not even regular.
“As we all know, things are expensive in the market now, so they should please add more to our money and pay us promptly.’’
Ayinla, however, appreciated the efforts of the current administration but demanded for more attention, adding that their agitation for increment in allowances, which began in June 2011, should be attended to.
Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi, chairman of the chapel urged the government to assist the community, “to give them a sense of belonging.”
“The idea of separation was the motive behind settling them in the outskirts of town, but now development has caught up with them.
“In the light of this, government should provide all the needed attention to them in terms of welfare, to make them part of the people,” Akinyemi said.
NAN reports that the chapel donated various items, including food, clothing materials and medical supplies to the inmates.