Crisis Rocks PH Cheshire Home As Residents Protest Alleged Diversion Of Cash, Foodstuffs
An unhealthy atmosphere appears to be pervading the Port Harcourt Cheshire Home, following allegations of stealing preferred against the management by the physically-challenged residents.
Leader of the protesters, who gave his name as Lucky Zechariah, told National Network that some persons whom he said “see themselves as owners of the home”, are allegedly diverting monies and food items meant for the physically-challenged residents of the home.
Zechariah, who hails from Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, said he would no longer keep quiet to watch the ‘heartless’ management continue to feed fat on what are donated for the benefit of home residents, while the real beneficiaries wallow in hunger and starvation.
Zechariah said he was admitted into the home in 2010 before travelling abroad under the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) scholarship programme in same year but returned to the home after his studies in 2016.
“From that 2016, people who see themselves as owners of the home are feeding fat from donations to the home, both in cash and food stuffs.
“When people make donations, these heartless people would divert everything to their own homes, without considering the residents. They would not consider that we, residents need food to eat”, he lamented.
Zachariah recalled that sometime in December, 2021, an ugly incident played out at the home between the angry residents and the manager.
“It was some days leading to Christmas, and on that fateful day, a load of goods containing various food items for our Christmas was brought in. And before our very eyes, the manager of the home came with a van to cart away everything, including cash donations”, he said, adding that several appeals to leave some items for residents fell on deaf ears as the manager refused to bulge.
“The Manager told us that it’s her right to take whatever she likes from the home. That nobody can stop or question her.
“We begged her that in the interest of peace and justice, she should take some and leave some for us, but she stood her ground”, he said.
At that point, Zachariah said the angry residents summed up courage and swooped on the van.
“Unknown to them that one of us was making video recording of the happenings, the Manager watched as we opened the van, and brought down everything”, he narrated.
According to him, the manager left the home and returned later in the day, with her mother and other family members.
“We told them we no longer want her to run the Home because if she continues, we would make sure that they would lose the place.
But her mother refused and insisted that her daughter will run the home”, he said.
Zechariah stated that after the incident, the manager and her people tactically avoided the home. Things remained that way until another incident just a fortnight ago.
“On the 17th of October, 2022, some workers, apparently hired to run the home, were brought to the place. They had keys to the store. We watched as they entered and each of them carried one and half cartons of custard and took them to where they kept their clothes”, he alleged.
The furious Zechariah also told our reporter that manager of the Home came to his church on Sunday and accused him of peddling lies against them, adding that they all left in shame when before the pastor of the church, he produced the video clips which revealed their amorous acts of December 2021.
Stressing that all is not well at the Home, Zechariah said the actions of the managers are telling adversely on the well-being of the residents.
“We are sick and starving as I speak. Good spirited members of society are doing their best to donate to us, but wicked people are diverting them to themselves.
“There’s a limit to our endurance. We’ll take legal action if this anomaly continues”, he said.
The Port Harcourt Cheshire Home is a charitable organization which provides, in a manner compatible with the ideals of the founder, the care, treatment, education and maintenance of the physically challenged.
Efforts to reach Mrs. Ngozi Allagoa through her phone contact for comments failed as the lines could not connect, despite repeated attempts.