A Yenagoa based veteran journalist in Bayelsa state, Mr. Austin Bodo who is currently bedridden due to difficulty in walking has got some financial help from a friend of the media and South-South youth leader of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Chinedu Ugwa.
The sick journalist is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of a Yenagoa based local tabloid, Creek News Weekly, who has impacted society, especially the Bayelsa state government, positively through critical reports and analysis.
Bodo has been bedridden for close to a year and seeking for financial help from governmen and well meaning individuals and corporate bodies to enable him access effective medical care but he had not been lucky enough.
Apart from the leadership of the Bayelsa state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) which has been running around to provide some succour to the ailing veteran media practitioner whose health condition is fast deteriorating, no other aid has been coming his way.
Meanwhile, Chief Ugwa, who is also the Director General, Unified Non-indigene Association of Bayelsa state, has opened the floodgate of financial support as a show of love from Nigerians to the sick journalist with a token of N100,000.
Presenting the cash to the medically challenged journalist, the Igbo Youth leader who was in company of the state chairman of the NUJ, Mr. Samuel Numonengi and other members of the union, said the gesture was borne out of his passion to touch lives.
He said, “a hero is not measured by how much he has in his bank account but how many lives he is able to touch in his life time.
“I did not do this because I have so much but I was touched with passion when I read on Austin Bodo’s Facebook page that he had been bedridden for several months without help to give him better medical treatment to enable him get on his feat again.
“We can’t afford to watch a great journalist like Bodo to die or become useless to society just because there is no money. Every one of us shall die some day and leave all that we have been toiling for. So, why can’t we render help to the needy in our own little ways?
“I am using this medium to call on the Bayelsa state government and the general public to come to the aid of this great man in the media industry who has put in so much for society. This is the time for the society to also give back to him.”
The state chairman of the NUJ, Mr. Numonengi thanked the Igbo youth leader for identifying with the media family, calling on others to follow suit and come to the aid of the ailing journalist whom he described as hard-working, dedicated and loving.
Responding, the bedridden newspaper publisher and writer poured encomiums on the South-South Igbo your leader for identifying with him in his trying times, praying God to replenish him a hundred fold.
Papa Austino, as he is fondly called, the sick pen pusher, who looked pale and frail and cannot get up without being aided, said he was gladdened to realize that there were kind-hearted individuals who still appreciate the role he had played as a media practitioner in moulding society.
“I thank you so much. I thought all have forgotten me apart from my media family. It is only God that can replenish your purse for this show of love towards me.
“Since I fell sick, l have been praying that l don’t want to die so that people will come to sign my condolence register and be writing sweet tributes about me. I want people who love me to come to my aid now that I am alive so that I can get on my feet again. Now, I can’t walk but by the grace of God, l shall walk again and continue my service to humanity,” he concluded.