THERE is no need over-emphasizing the fact that Lagos is faced with acute traffic challenges. This is equally opening opportunities for some hustlers to engage and promote all manner of businesses on certain routes. One of the most-preferred routes is the popular and ever busy Canoe Road, connecting road-users to Ajao Estate and the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road. The choking traffic, on the cited route, is equally opening opportunities for some of the so-called charity organisations to grease their bank accounts. Their perfect strategy is using individuals battling health-threatening challenges. In short, some of their most-paraded victims are toddlers with eye or mouth cancers.
It is in doubt that a reasonable amount of money aimed at addressing some of the paraded ailments would be raised on a road. It equally makes no economic or moral sense to deny victims, especially toddlers, desired sleep because they are in dire need of funds for treatment of ailments like eye or mouth cancer. It further makes no sense that a child must be forced to run after moving vehicles, soliciting for financial help. One cannot overlook the fact that some of the charity organisations are genuinely, and mainly, raising funds for the treatment of the sufferers. There are however speculations that some of them are merely sharing the raised funds with the victims. It is also projected that both the organisations and sufferers must “settle” certain “masters” before being allowed to carry out their trade on the route, on a daily basis.
It is therefore expedient that appropriate agencies of the Lagos government step in and check the ugly trend on Canoe Road. The concerned agencies might also take a cue or partnership with some trusted organisations like churches that have dedicated departments catering to people with special needs. There is a need for all hands to be on deck in rendering desired help, but it makes no sense that charity organisations are forcing commuters to see individuals battling health-threatening challenges and to get exposed to health risks.
- Odiaka, a public affairs analyst, writes in from Lagos
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