By Emmanuel Udom
‘I am still strong, healthy and love my country – Nigeria, with all my might. I will like to still continue to contribute my own humble quota to her development. But, I am visually impaired and need the help of all and sundry to restore my sight to normalcy’
This above statement is credited to Sylvanus Okon, a 58-year-old retired police inspector, who lost his sight in mysterious circumstances, while fighting some high profile crimes in Nigeria, decades ago.
Okon, who hails from Akpabuyo in Cross River State, joined the Nigeria Police Force as a recruit constable, August 1978, with the mindset of serving his fatherland with all his might, love and strength.
Based on this mindset, he moved into the deadly, slippery and unpredictable crime world headlong, determined to flush out any ill in our society by force-by-fire, no matter who is involved.
‘This will be in accordance with my training as a police officer as well as all the laws and regulations guiding the Nigeria Police Force’, he said.
But that journey will require nothing less than N6million to accomplish and the blind retired police officer is therefore appealing to the Federal Government, Lagos State Government, Cross River State Government, the Akwa Ibom State Government to please to come to his aid in raising this money for his surgery either here in Nigeria or abroad.
His words: Public spirited individuals, corporate bodies, foreign embassies, non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, etc, touched by God should please come to my aid.
Recall that some media reports earlier reported that for those who knew Sylvanus during his active years in the Nigeria Police Force, he was an officer to behold.
With the right height and weight, he boasted of a physique any officer would die for, and that was one of the qualities that scared the criminals and made him stood out among other officers.
He achieved a lot gallantly during his service years. Okon was still serving his country with high hopes but in 2010 something happened to this gallant officer that stopped his dream of finishing strong.
Narrating how he lost his sight, he said: “It all started one fateful day in 2010 on the line of duty. Something I thought was an insect flown into one of my eyes.
I quickly used the back of my hands to clean my eyes, hoping it was something I could clear easily, but to my utmost surprise, the affected eye began to itch.
I was very disturbed and uncomfortable throughout my stay at work that very day. So I had to go to the hospital first before I got home.
I started receiving treatment from the hospital but instead of my problem to get the anticipated solution in the hospital, my condition became worse as my other eye was equally affected. By this time, I could not even see again.
It was clinically proven that I had lost my sight completely and the next move was to travel abroad for treatment as recommended by the doctor who was in charge of my treatment then.
But there was no money for me to make that journey. So I continued with my job in that condition.
“I reported the case of blindness to the police medicals but I was told to search for the money myself and go for the eye treatment then bring my claims back for refund.
I could not raise the money for the treatment despite my appeal to many sources for support. I continued to work in that blind state until I completed the 35 years of my service in August 2013.
“My predicament is the fact that I am not resting even with this condition because my eyes hurt badly.
I have visited several hospitals too but the pains did not abate and the doctors keep assuring me that I can see again if I can afford to travel to India for surgery.
Here are the help details, please.
Name: Sylvanus Okon
Bank: Access Bank Plc
Account No: 0026655176
Help Lines: 08033214457, 08028088998.