Seventy-two blind students of Bethesda Home for the Blind (BHB) may be on their way onto the streets of Lagos, unless something is urgently done by the Lagos State government, if threats by the Executive Secretary of Surulere Local Government, Mrs. Aduke Hussein are anything to go by.
The visually impaired inmates, who have found a safe haven in the Mrs Chioma Ohakwe founded boarding school, would be losing their home, school, freedom, hope, dreams and sanity if verbal and written threats coming from their host local government are carried out.
The home located at 31, Agege Motor Road, Moshalasi, Surulere, is the brainchild of.....Ohakwe, a deeply religious social worker, who started the humanitarian home in 2005, to prepare these special students to face the world challenges adequately through formal education-reading and writing- and vocational skill acquisition such as music, hand craft, moral teaching and philosophy.
By Monday, February 29, 2016, according to a quit notice served them, dated December 14th 2015, and signed by Fasuyi K.A for Executive Secretary (ES), Surulere LG, the students would be thrown to the streets, as they ceased to be legal tenants of the LG.
According to the BHB director, verbal warnings have come before the written one in December. “Before we got this quit notice, they have sent people from the LG, acting on the orders of the ES to talk us into vacating the only place we call home. I did not think much of it, then the letter came and since then it’s been constant harassment from the LG. One morning in January, a Police vehicle just came to the home and their leader, an Assistant Superintended of Police (ASP) said they were ordered to eject us. They went through the whole house and when they saw the students, the ASP took pity on the children and even gave us money, adding that he pitied our condition.”
The quit notice reads in part: ‘We acknowledge the tremendous impact and contribution of the home to the less privileged over time…I am to add that the home is a non-governmental organization, hence, it is expected that the home should and must sort out its accommodation not relying on government structures and facilities even if support may or not come from the government.’
It adds: ‘The body language of the present administration speaks clearly, thus the need to ensure due process and accountability of government properly. Consequently, the authorities of the local government have resolved that the property accommodating the home be vacated on or before the 26th February, 2016 as a tenant at will.’
Not done, one Oladapo Motolani Williams on 4th of February 2016, filed a suit of compliance with pre-action protocol, against the home.
The claimant claimed to be a trustee and executor of the estate, claimed that the BHB forced itself into the site in 2014 without the support of the LG, then, under the chairmanship of Hon Tajudeen Ajide.
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