From William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, Sandema .
The President of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisation (GFDO) in the Upper East Region, David Aniah, has strongly accused some officials of the Builsa North District Assembly of extorting money from Persons With Disabilities (PDWs) whenever they receive their 3% allocation of the District Assembly Common Fund.
Making these damning allegations at Sandema during the disbursement of GH¢15,541 to 126 PWDs, Mr. Aniah said the conduct of the assembly officials infringed upon the act that governed the Assembly Common Fund.
“We have seen instances in this district where beneficiaries take monies and officials go after them to tell them that yes, give us part of this money and then we will go and thank the officers. I have seen somebody who collected GH¢1,500 in this district to go and buy an artificial leg. “Unfortunately, as we speak, the person still hasn’t got the leg and the money is not also there, because part of that money is gone; that money is gone to one of the officers, of which we are not able to trace.
“I am telling you here that anybody who comes to you to ask money, report the person to the nearest police station or report the person to the assembly. Walk straight to the DCE’s office or the social welfare officer and report such a person. The money doesn’t belong to anybody, it belongs to you, the individual beneficiaries, and nobody has any right to come to you to ask for money after you receive the money from the Finance Department.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Aniah has cautioned members of the federation not to use their funds to organise parties for their family members. “So, please, take care of the money. And those of you who will take the money and you want to organise big parties for your family members, you want to invite your girlfriends or your boyfriends, I am telling you that that is not what the money is meant for.”
He said: “In one week’s time, the fund management committee will come over to you, to your houses wherever your business is located, to monitor to find out whether you have been able to use the money for the purpose for which you asked the for money.”
But, in a quick rebuttal, the Builsa North District Officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, Rahinatu Braimah, under whose care the funds are disbursed, vehemently dismissed the allegations, as she also accused Mr. Aniah of always framing up stories.
“It’s a false accusation, because what the President said is false. He always sits and frames stories, it is not true. No assembly official has ever requested money from any beneficiary. In actual fact, they are false accusations; nobody has demanded money from anybody, any beneficiary,” she claimed.
A beneficiary of the fund, Asuah Puri Christiana, in an interview with A1 News, however confirmed the scandalous claim made by the Regional President of GFDO.
Stunned by the accusations, the District Chief Executive of Builsa North, David Afoko, urged PWDs to report officials who attempt to extort money from them to his outfit for redress, and not to resort to using the media.