Rescuing Human Dignity



Only few Imolites can afford to be equivocal or argue that Imo state landscape has not undergone tremendous transformations since the Rescue Mission of Owelle Rochas Okorocha came on board. If the blind is naturally incapacitated to appreciate the innovative ideas which blossomed into action, he must have had an earful of the landmark structural changes.

Unfortunately however, not much action has been felt around some areas like human development particularly those with humanitarian flavour. The observation remains valid and relevant despite occasional policy thrusts of group or individual empowerment on a scale hitherto unthinkable.



The most neglected include the physically challenged, the destitutes and of course the hordes of the mentally sick who litter the busy and crowded spots in parts of the Owerri metropolis like discarded unserviceable vehicles or junks. These marginalized ones have virtually taken over some popular areas of the municipality. They maintain strong presence around the Control Post, Okigwe Road Roundabout by Modotel andBank RoadbyOrlu Roadjunction. The worst affected spot is on both sides of the busyDouglas Roadclose to Saint Paul Catholic Cathedral.

Frankly, only few pedestrians could put up with the gory scenario comprising stunted children with hunch – backs half awake and half asleep soliciting alms which were not forthcoming. These human eyesore reminds one of the fabled Paleolithic age where human beings co – habit with wild animals in their natural habitat. Our generation of Paleolithic men and women camp close to refuse dumps with worthless luggage as valuable property to be sure of their daily bread. Their worst enemy has been the stray dogs which are equally hungry and foraging for food.

These citizens in desperate conditions are yet to feel the compassionate arms of the Rescue Mission. This is unfortunate and not in tandem with the administration’s humanitarian vision. Commuters and pedestrians who frequent Okigwe Road Roundabout by Modotel must have run into a middle – aged lady with a huge fleshy sac overlapping the groove concealing her womanhood, Almost always, mothers weep as they vicariously savour her agonized condition induced by the huge fleshy sac which may pass for hydrocell or any of the health disorders in its family. One is immensely disturbed but some how relieved that with the inauguration of the HEALTH AT YOUR DOOR – STEP programme by the state government, health care delivery will be revolutionized to embrace the street population made up of the physically challenged, the destitute and the teeming mentally sick who will, at worst, be patients to veterinary doctors.

Medicare for these forgotten street population ought to engage the attention of the religious community in view of its humanitarian profile. Most of these churches and ministries should be more altruistically focused and not give the impression that they are in competition to own private jets and fleets of flashy cars like limousines and jeeps.

Government should therefore remind those that are worldly focused to think less about their material comfort and cater for the critically sick and poor as well as those with mental illness.

The few Homes for this category of citizens were built by their predecessors years ago. Imo state is still in dire need of these Homes to be able to cope with the complex social challenges of the decade.