Disabled want Joseph Sannoh to give account
The ‘Disabled Got Talent’ award which attracted sponsorship from over six various multi-million investment companies like Africell, Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, Sign Africa, Bank of Sierra Leone, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs among others ended with mixed feelings among persons with disabilities.
The event which was organized by HEAL Sierra Leone, the National Commission for Persons with Disability, and the Milton Margai School for the Blind staged on Friday, 3rd January, 2014 at the Family Kingdom attracted the attention of disabled people especially the physically challenged who testified that they have been discriminated against since the establishment of the National Commission for Persons With Disability [NCPD] as it solely concentrates on improving lives of the visually impaired .
They also stated that a lot of disabled persons with talents were not informed earlier about the programme until the day of the event when the Coordinator, Mr. Joseph Sannoh informed them that they were supposed to be part of the event.
The further maintained that he did this purposely to exclude them from the programme and make money for himself.
They explained that most disabled people who came from places like Grafton and Waterloo as to grace the occasion were neither given food nor transportation to return to their homes forcing most of them to sleep in open places at Aberdeen.
They explained that when they confronted him on the matter Mr. Sannoh told them that he had spent all the money given to them by the sponsors for the event.
They noted that most able bodied people are not working to seek the welfare of the people with disabilities but only to use them to enrich themselves.
They also claimed that the award itself favoured the visually impaired because among the twenty seven categories of awards that were presented, the physically challenged won not more than eight while the rest went to the blind.
They noted that such a thing happened because the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Hon. Mustapha Bai Attilah and the Chief Commissioner of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Frederick J.M. Kamara are both visually impaired people who influenced the event in favour of blind people.
They concluded by calling on the Anti Corruption Commission to investigate how much money Mr. Joseph Sannoh received and how much he spent on the event.
Up to the time of going to press last night Mr. Joseph Sannoh refused to grant us an interview.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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