By Victor Essang/Esther Aniefiok/Blessing Henry
A first class graduate of Biochemistry from the Amadu Bello University, Zaria, who lost his sight recently has sent a passionate appeal to Akwa Ibom Government and the good people of the state to provide financial assistance to aid him foot his medical bills and take care of himself and family.
Mr Effiong James Effiong who hails from Odiok Itam in Itu Local Government Area made the appeal Tuesday, while narrating his ordeal to our reporter.
Effiong, who was led into the premises of The Pioneer House by a tricycle (Keke NAPEP) rider that gave him a ride, looked tired, dejected with a tattered and worn out pairs of shoes. He said he has suffered since he lost his sight last year, 2021.
When Effiong left his home that fateful day in March 2021 to fend for himself and family, it was unknown to him that he would not return with his sight intact and would have to remain blind till date.
He was not a lazy type right from his school days, little wonder that he graduated with a first class honour from the prestigious Amadu Bello University, Zaria.
After graduation, Effiong did not wait for government to give him job but decided to create one for himself by venturing into production of chemical products such as bleach, insecticide, car cleaner and toilet wash.
Today, he is a victim of circumstance who is seeking solution to his challenge by soliciting for compassion from people to help restore his sight and assist him bounce back in his business.
“I attended Army Primary School, Calabar, from where I proceeded to Luthran High School, Obot Idim in Ibesikpo Asutan. And Barrister Onofiok Luke was my classmate.
“The higher institution I attended was Amadu Bello University, Zaria, where I obtained first class degree in Biochemistry and I graduated in 2006. Since then I have been on my own operating my business where I produce bleach, insecticide, car cleaner, toilet wash. Iam also into fumigation services.
“Iam self-employed and that has helped me. I have built a house of my own and bought a car through the business, but this eye challenge has returned me to square one and rendered me incapacitated.
“I am married with three issues, the eldest is in Primary 5, the second is in Primary 2 while the least born is about nine months old,” Effiong stated.
Narrating how he developed the problem, Effiong said, “It started in March last year, 2021 but became worse in September same year and to the extent that I can’t see again.
“One fateful day I woke up and went out for my normal business and as I was going on the way, all of a sudden my eyes got closed, I couldn’t see anything and I experienced total darkness, then I returned to my house and reported it to my elder sister and others who rallied round me and prayed fervently for me and after close to 30 minutes, my eyes got opened again, so I thanked God and I continued with my normal business.
“But in August last year, the same problem started again, and this time around I started seeing things very faintly, and I rushed to the state eye clinic at the secretariat where I was diagnosed of glaucoma and was given some drugs which I continued taking throughout that August till November. Throughout that period of medication, I was Okay, but from December last year to last month January, the eye deteriorated and was not responding to treatment again. When I went back for check-up, I was told to either go for operation or I would be placed on permanent drugs throughout my lifetime.
“I opted for the medication which is too expensive for me. I have been spending N32,000 every month since I commenced the treatment and I am financially drained and need financial assistance.”
The victim said he used to see very faintly while he was on treatment but now he cannot see clearly again.
When asked what his appeal was, Effiong who sounded disappointed, said, “To be very frank, I have been making series of appeals and written to different quarters including Office of the Deputy Governor, yet I have not received any positive response. I am worried due to my condition and I am using this medium to reach out to the government and the general public to come to my aid.”
“I want the governor of the state to help me and I also want the good citizens of Akwa Ibom State to come to my rescue because things are very difficult with me to the extent that Ido even stay for three days without eating.”
He said those willing to render any financial assistance can do so through: Account number: 3129301980. Name: Effiong James Effiong. First Bank, or reach him on phone through the number, 07081810991.