Parishioners of St Simon’s Parish Ukpo, were left in total disbelief and shock on New Year, as Rev Fr. Barr Obiora Okeke, the chaplain of Association of Persons Living with Sickle Cell Disorder, made shocking revelations of the travails of people living with sickle cell disorder.
The Chaplain, who was one of the co celebrants at the New Year mass, applauded Prince Engr. Arthur Eze for his kind gestures and magnanimity to the Associations in many ways, especially for his aid that enabled her start and complete a sickle cell Clinic.
Addressing the congregation, the chaplain stated that through the help the Association has received from Prince Arthur Eze, church and other individuals, the association was able to reduce the mortality rate of her members from 30 deaths in 2015 to just 1 in 2016.
He however, regretted the humiliating act of some greedy individuals, who insist on collecting 10% kickbacks from the support the Association has received.
The priest described this as not only shameful but sinful, as it grossly shows the level of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man, as it is difficult to understand what prompts such uncultured attitude, where people that are far better off are sucking those they should be helping.
The chaplain appreciated the church, for her support to the Association, especially in providing a chaplain to cater for the spiritual and psychological needs of these persons.
He also mentioned that since assuming office as the chaplain, he has been moved by Prince Arthur Eze’s benevolence, which has been a strong motivation factor and the drive that stirs him in supporting the sickle cell cause at all cost, prompting him to always avail the bus for his school for the association during their sensitisation campaigns.
Fr. Obiora, also urged other parishioners not to look down on these sickle cell victims, as they are all humans. He narrated a story of a lady who was deprived of inheritance because she was a sickler, and was left to die by her brother who took to selling all the family lands left by their Late parents.
This lady could have lost her life to not only the incessant crisis of living with the disorder, but also to frustration and depression of an abandoned child, if the association had not wade in to remedy the situation.
The priest also appealed to the parishioners to extend their help to the Association, as her water tank, which supplied water to not only Austica Memorial College Nanka, but also to the home of the sickle cell victims, collapsed few weeks back.
Reacting to the message of the day, Prince Engr. Arthur Eze promised to never relent on his support for the association, and promised to renovate the collapsed water tank which was pegged around 6 million naira, presented a Cheque worth Several Millions of naira for both the Church general Renovation and payment of School fees for the Orphans in the Church.
The coordinator of the Association, Aisha Edward Who was visibly impressed with APLSCD Awka Catholic Diocese Chaplain Rev. Fr. Barr OBIORA OKEKE's Courage in exposing the Secret pain of the group inflicted by the Society on their Legitimate Right.
Aisha Edward also used the opportunity to extend New Year messages to all her members, staff and well-wishers, particularly their Patron Prince Engr. Arthur Eze, urging them that the New Year would be a peak of success for the Association.
By Augustus Bill