Men of the Anglican Church of Nigeria have drummed support for financial assistance to alleviate the sufferings of persons affected by leprosy in the country, especially those suffering stigmatization.
The President of the Men’s Fellowship of the St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral Church, Minna, Niger State, Chief Sanjo Alagbe, made this call on Sunday when he led some members to the Leprosarium managed by The Leprosy Mission Nigeria, in Minna, the state capital, to donate several items to persons affected by leprosy.
Alagbe said it is part of activities to mark this year’s Father’s Day.
The president, while expressing dismay over the level of abandonment at the Leprosarium, said: “Nigerians should ask what they can do to support the Mission and make affected persons live normally.
“We (Anglican men) want to partner with the Mission and see what we can do to support.
“I want to call on well meaning Nigerians, corporate and religious bodies to stretch their hands of magnanimity towards these persons.”
Earlier, the Operations Manager of The Leprosy Mission in Nigeria, Pius Ogbu Sunday, while lamenting that all tiers of government had paid little or no attention to their plight, told our Correspondent that people affected by leprosy have been living a pathetic life in the past years across the country.
According to him: “Ninety-two per cent of financial support the TLM gets till date is still from abroad.
“We cover Niger, FCT, Sokoto, Kogi, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kwara and Akwa Ibom States.
“It may shock you to know that most state governments don’t support us.
“We have only gotten a nod from the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Rt. Revd. Nicholas Okoh.
“He assured us that TLM will be added in the Anglican’s calendar.”
Ogbu however pleaded with individuals and corporate and religious bodies to come to the aid of the affected persons to give the Leprosarium a facelift as the structures are dilapidated with no access road.
He added: “It is a serious challenge for us because the people affected by leprosy cannot clean the place because of their limbs and other physical challenges.
“We need staff like cleaners who can tidy up the place and also cooks who can help because these people need assistance.”
Ogbu however lamented that the support usually gotten from churches and donors in the western world had drastically gone down and it is affecting us and the sustainability will suffer.