The Catholic Priest, St. John Paul II Ugwuachara and Senior Special Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor on Religious and welfare matters, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali said the improper covering and lack of insurance company to workers of stone based industries have imposed serious increased cases of eyes related problems in the state.
Speaking to newsmen on Saturday 18th May, 2019 at Bishop’s Court, Mile 50, the priest who doubled as state chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) revealed that with the number of eye cases he is currently handling, that Ebonyi State is now rated as the state with highest cases of eye related problem in South East.
The priest who said disengaging workers at various quarry sites who depend on their work for earning their daily bread would not be the best option but his office would intensify effort in their sensitization approach to the workers who do not cover themselves properly as they work in pits, thereby, exposing their eyes to some particles that mostly develop into serious pains.
He said that those vulnerable are mostly those who failed to properly cover their eyes and more particles accumulating in the eyes if not properly taken care of would result to blindness.
The priest lamented that there are no insurance company in the country that guarantee such workers’ need but urged them to hearken to sensitization programme of the state government by properly covering their body before going to mining pits, report to welfare office whenever they discover unnecessary eye pain, because the state government through his office has made provision to ensure such people are properly and freely taken care of.
He said, “I have mentioned it to His Excellency that these people working in stone based companies should not be stopped from their place of daily bread because of the increase cases of eyes problem in the state, but we will continue to sensitize them on important of their health.”
“Our role is to keep sensitizing them to always cover their body properly, especially their eyes and to have a proper check up. Unfortunately, we do not have insurance company in the country, otherwise, we would have mandated the pit owners to provide their workers with insurance.”
“The workers should know that their life is at stake each time those lead get into their eyes because lead is too strong that it does not dissolve when it get into the eye and can result to blindness.”
“We encourage them to properly cover up before going into the pit, come for regular check up that we will through the help of state government continue to assist them and pay their bills.”
The priest further stated that the state governor’s declared renewed intense action to end cultism was commendable and sign of courageousness that the effort and result already achieved through school evangelism would help the state to end the incessant blood bash.
“We commend the courageousness of the state governor for coming up with such bold step during his press briefing when he made it publicly that nobody who is a cultist who does not confess and repent would join his cabinet in his second term.”
First, we started school evangelism and it has helped, because many of them have come out proudly to confess and when they do, we protect them; if they help us break into their secrets, we give them scholarship.
He, however stated that though the growing vices which he attributed to have been fingered to be sponsored among political office holders and members among leaders in educational sector following reliable information gathered from arrested group members in police custody and prison, cultism may not be totally wiped out but reduced to the barest minimum.
The priest frowned that members of cult group have become instrument for incessant killing and tools use for communal crises in different parts of the state.
He called members of the public and all concerned Ebonyians to give their support in sanitizing the state of the deadly group.