Members of the Ghana Federation of Disabilities have accused some officials of the Builsa North District Assembly in the Upper East Region of extorting money from persons with disability.
The Upper East Regional President of Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD), David Aniah, who disclosed this, said some officials of the Builsa North Assembly demanded money from persons with disabilities after they received their share of the Disability Fund.
According to Mr. Aniah, the action of the said officials is wrong and an infringement of the law that established the District Assembly Common Fund.
He disclosed this ahead of the disbursement of an amount of GH¢15,541.00 to some 126 beneficiaries at Sandema.
“We have had instances in this district where beneficiaries take their monies and officials demand monies to thank the officers. I have seen someone who received GH¢1,500.00 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 also not there because part of the money is gone to the officer who we are not able to trace.”
He advised beneficiaries of the Disability Fund not to give money to officials, saying “the money was given to you for a specific thing. Whatever you use the money for, that is what you should do and the members of the Disability Fund Management Team will come and monitor your progress. If you divert the money, your name will be taken off the list of beneficiaries.”
A beneficiary of the fund, Asuah Puri Christiana, in an interview, confirmed that indeed an official from the Assembly really demanded money to thank some persons at the Assembly.
In recent times, District Assemblies in the Upper East Region have resorted to giving cheques to beneficiaries of the Disability Fund to ensure that officials do not extort monies from them.
Meanwhile, an officer in charge of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development in the Builsa North District, Rahinatu Braimah has debunked the claims, saying “it’s false accusation what the President said is false. He always sits there and fabricates stories; it’s not true.”
Builsa North District Chief Executive (DCE), David Afoko, was also surprised at the assertions by the persons with disability.
“If there are issues, what we always expect is that come and report the matter to us, but if you go straight to the media, sometimes we would not know. You go to the media and they lambast all of us.”
From Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Sandema