The founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) and a psychiatric expert, Dr. Joshua Falade, have asked people not to stigmatize patients who have a mental illness.
Babalola said that ABUAD had obtained the approval of Ekiti state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, about the university’s intention to take the crazy people off the streets of Ekiti for rehabilitation.
This is how Babalola rehabilitated two people with mental illness from the Ondo and Kogi states and reunited them with the families after 15 years of separation.
Speaking at the unification ceremony held in ABUAD on Thursday, Babalola said he had to be compassionate after discovering them in their lunatic states and took them to intensive medicare at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH).
“This university and this hospital were established to fight poverty through philanthropy. I’m just happy when the people around me are happy.
“What I did was show passion for humanity, and I think we can all do the same. The lunatics on the streets are human; they do not stone them or discriminate against them. Instead of doing that, take them to ABUTH for treatment.
“As of today, these two ladies have become my daughters, and I will establish them with businesses that will make them successful in life,” he said.
The acting deputy chancellor, Professor Sylvester Ojo, said that Babalola had replicated the same gesture through contributions to society in terms of scholarships, free legal services for the oppressed and donations of funds to the farmers of the 16 local governments to promote the production food.
The expert in psychiatry, Dr. Falade, in advising how to demystify mental illness, revealed that the victims came to life through the instrumentality of Babalola after sleeping in the woods and wandering the streets for years.
“After the recovery, we were able to trace their families where they told us that they had suffered mental illness and that they had been lost in the place where they were receiving treatment.
“Mental illness is still being stigmatized in Nigeria; it is familiar; it is not true that we are not treatable; it is a medical condition.
“It’s not easy to administer, it costs money, and I want to ask the government, the political leaders, the non-governmental organizations and the corporate bodies to replicate what Chief Afe Babalola is doing in the area of philanthropy to give hope to the desperate. ”
Speaking on behalf of the families, Mr. Ojo Bamidele and Nurudeen Subair said they never knew they could meet with the victims since they lost contact with them for years.