GOODWILL MESSAGE BY
THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
SENATOR (DR.) ANYIM PIUS ANYIM, GCON
ON THE OCCASION OF THE
PRESENTATION OF S1.5 MILLION WHEELCHAIRS
MR. KEN BERING
THIS DAY, AUGUST 5, 2002.
First of all, let me announce to this august gathering that I am excited to be part of this laudable initiative. I would have loved to be here physically but for some other national engagements.
But because of the regard I have for this event, I have asked my Chief of Staff, Barrister Steve Ugo Ahaneku, to represent me. I am particularly delighted that the sponsors of this soul-lifting initiative have chosen my humble self to perform a key role.
I must say I was excited, most profoundly, when I received your invitation. My initial reaction was to thank the Almighty God for giving us men and women in whose vein still flows milk of human kindness. And my prayer is that for every good deed done to help the disabled realise their abilities, God will add more grace to our lives.
My dear friend, Mr. Ken Behring, in addition to formally welcoming you to Nigeria, I want you to know that by your kind gesture, you have not only positively affected the lives of the disabled, you have also given the rest of us hope. Mr. Behring, I want to particularly thank you for this wonderful gesture. I am challenged by it. I am excited by your compassion. And more than ever, I am committed to the cause of all men and women with disabilities.
This, indeed, should be the challenge to well-meaning Nigerians. In our various endeavours, in our daily acquisition of wealth, let us remember that there are those whose sun did not rise at full mast. We owe them a duty to give more illumination to their sun and subsequently ensure that they set at the right places.
What is happening today reminds me of the biblical injunction that poverty will never cease from the land. But the good Lord admonishes those of us who are rich to always remember those who are poor. Mr. Behring has remembered the poor in their time of need. It is my candid prayer that God in His infinite mercy, will remember you now and always.
I believe strongly that there is ability in disability. I am convinced day by day that those with physical disability deserve our empathy not our sympathy. Their productivity can be enhanced not by our tears but by our genuine effort to enhance their performance. Mr. Behring has done just that today.
I thank you
We in the National Assembly are cognisant of the plight of persons with disabilities. As I speak to you now, there is a member bill before the Senate which seeks to establish a National Trust Fund for the Disabled. The Bill is due for Second reading and it is my sincere belief that it will be passed before the end of the final session of the National Assembly in this Fourth Republic.
Today, I want to seize this opportunity to appeal to those with disabilities not to lose hope. As my dear Behring presents his donation of $1.Smillion worth of wheelchairs, let this gesture open a new chapter in your lives to the effect that your sun has risen once again but this time at full blast.
I thank you all.