From Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Every morning, the poor, jobless, destitute, beggars, homeless, sick people and all persons who fall within that category converge opposite St. Theresa’s Catholic Cathedral on Ogoja Road, Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State.
The spot is not far from the old and new Government House. It is also very close to a notable eatery in the area that some well-off men, including top government officials and clerics, among others, often visit.
Although they belong to different backgrounds and creeds, they are united by their common afflictions.
As earlier as 7am each day, some of them plod to their gathering spot. They sit there, enduring the harsh weather from morning to evening, patiently waiting for alms in terms of food, water and job opportunities from kindhearted individuals.
One of them, who simply gave her name as Mrs. Ndidi, lamented that she had suffered hardship for a long time. She said that she resorted to begging because she had no other means of livelihood.
Ndidi, who hails from Abakaliki, revealed that she had lost two of her three children.
“I gave birth to three children but only one is alive. The other two have died. I have been here for a long time,” she said as she fought back tears.
Another destitute, Chinedu, 18, who also hails from Abakaliki, said that he resorted to begging because he was jobless.
He said: “I have been here for two years. I need work. I have searched for work everywhere but I couldn’t find any. I need a job so that I can leave this place.”
Touched by the pathetic condition of the destitute, the creative director of Sweetest Kiddies Empire, Nikita Nkese, went to the area recently with food, soaps and toiletries, which she shared to the poor.
Nkese told Daily Sun that she was moved by the horrible condition of the people and, therefore, decided to extend the milk of human kindness to them.
Nkese said: “My heart broke the very day I passed through that place and saw them. I deeply felt for them and as a result decided to arrange some food and toiletries, and other things for them. I felt that they deserved a good meal.”
Before that day, she had distributed educational materials, including exercise books, schoolbags, sandals, stationery and snacks to some indigent pupils at Ezza Road Primary School, Abakaliki, in Ebonyi Local Government Area of the state.
She recalled that the event took place on November 20 last year, as it was part of the activities lined up by her organization to mark the World Children’s Day in the state. She said that many pupils, who hitherto had no sandals or schoolbags, went home with brand new bags and sandals.
The event, which took place at the school premises, was targeted at spotting pupils from very poor backgrounds, who could not afford some vital school materials in order to assist them.