…Chair debunks allegation of receiving money from governor
…Some members arrested for selling wheelchairs
Yakubu Busari Jos
What was a kind gesture from a the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong to the People Living With Disabilities, is gradually turning into a scam and racketeering by the same beneficiaries.
First, it was the Chairman of the Commission, Mr James Lalu who was accused of receiving N15 million from Gov. Lalong over free wheelchairs donated by an international NGO based in London.
Then came the strange information that sewing machines, trading facilities wheelchairs and tricycles distributed to the people living with disabilities across the 17 local government areas in the state as part of the governor’s promise to elevate their plight, have been found in stores on display for sale.
Many of the beneficiaries accused Lula of collecting huge sums of money from Lalong and singlehandedly running the affairs of the Commission.
When asked the chairman debunked the allegation that he collected and described the claims as baseless. He said the foreign donor asked Governor Lalong to pay the counterpart fund which was paid before the equipment were brought here, (Jos) through their agent in Lagos.
According to him, on arrival the equipment were checked thoroughly to ensure that every one of the persons listed with any form of disability benefit from the distribution.
He however admitted that some of members have been caught selling their tricycles, recently distributed to them to aid their mobility.
“They were found in shops and openly displayed in the market and we had to
immediately invited the police and the culprits were arrested,” he said.
The chairman complained bitterly that the tricycles given through the magnanimity of the governor to the persons living with disability have suddenly found its way into an open market for sale.
Lalu said the most annoying part of the saga was that the tricycles were being sold at giveaway prices, as low seven thousand in the open market.
According to him: “When we got the information that some of the beneficiaries were selling theirs, we swung into action and invaded the stores, and we were able to recover more than seven of the tricycles in one store.
“Those who bought the equipment were arrested, taken to the police station, and were later released because they were first offenders but after they were made to sign an undertaken. We brought the tricycles to the Commission’s office and reallocated them to those who we felt really know the importance of the equipment”.