Office of the First Lady of Lagos State has urged the general public to disregard the claim purportedly linking the office to the programme of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), ‘South-Westhire Health Trust’ to remove mentally challenged people from the street.
In a statement signed by Nwonah Olubukonla, Asst Director, Public Affairs, Office of Lagos State First Lady, the claim is false in its entirety as there was no such arrangement with the NGO.
In the statement titled, ‘Re: Vagrant Free Society’, the office said, “The attention of the Office of First Lady of Lagos State has been drawn to a Brochure of events by a Non – Governmental Organisation (NGO) that goes by the name; “South-Westhire Health Trust” planning to remove mentally challenged people from the streets of Lagos between 12th and 20th November, 2019.
“In the brochure, the management of South-Westshire Health Trust purportedly claimed that the planned removal of the mentally challenged persons from the streets is in partnership with the Office of the First Lady of Lagos State. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”
The statement said whilst it was true that the management of the said NGO paid a courtesy visit to the First Lady to solicit for partnership, the First Lady made it abundantly clear that some background checks would have to be conducted on the said NGO to ascertain the safety of the mentally challenged persons to be removed from the streets.
“The First Lady had specifically said: “For us, the safety of the mentally challenged persons is very important and we will have to conduct our espionage into the background and activities of your NGO (South-Westshire Health Trust) to be sure that they will be in safe hands.”
“Without getting due approval from the Office of the First Lady, South-Westshire Health Trust went on to print the said Brochure in a preposterous manner and attributed the initiative to the First Lady.
“While it is a fact that the Lagos State Government has well-structured system in place to take care of this category of persons, the State Government is, however, opened to credible partnerships from worthy private organisations whose intentions have been certified to be genuine and sincere,” the statement reads.