The story of Mr. Uche Ikoro could be best summarised as Alice in Wonderland as well as God’s prerogative of Mercy. Uche Ikoro, a commercial cab driver with Eastern Mass Transit does his business between Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra and any other place his vehicle can take him.
Uche, 23 and a father of two was a born cripple and a native of Abiriba in Abia state believes that being a physically challenged person is not a reasonable ground for him to perpetually subject himself to alms begging and remain in abject penury and squalor for the rest of his life.
Mr. Ikoro who is about six years old in his driving career, said prior to his triumphant entry into commercial driving, he was a building engineer and also installed Solar lights, stressing that his physical deformities notwithstanding, he took a decision to succeed from birth even though people looked down on him scornfully.
He said that he could not fathom how people scrambled for his cab each time he comes to the park for loading. He said his benefactor was Very Reverend Father Professor Johnbosco Akam who bought the cab for him to enable him to fend for his family.
Uche who spoke to newsprobe said he decided to do the unthinkable despite having no legs coupled with partially deformed arms. He dared the vicissitudes of life and became one of the most cherished commercial drivers in the southeast geo-political zone.
The correspondent who boarded his cab from Eastern Mass Transit Terminal Holy Ghost Enugu to Nnewi on 27th December, 2020 was completely transfixed at the way and manner in which Uche Ikoro manipulated the steering and other gadgets in the vehicle. His dexterity and discreetness on the wheels deserve an applause because it is almost unusual for him to achieve such with his present condition. Truly, Uche Ikoro is an eloquent testimony of ability in disability.
Although Uche Ikoro had done his business on Lagos route, conveying commuters from the South East to Lagos and other Southwestern states, he later decided to limit his business to the southeast because he was not getting much returns then. Today, Uche Ikoro says he feeds his family very well and still prays for better days ahead.
Ikoro said, “In this life, if you believe in God, God will believe in you. I started this driving 2015 when I was running Lagos but unfortunately I couldn’t make it. So I registered with Eastern Mass Transit.
“The vehicle belongs to me. I am not driving for anybody. I am a father of two children and a native of Abiriba in Abia state. I started with a private car before I joined transportation fully. One Reverend Father bought the car for me. His name is Johnbosco Akam. He is the one that made me start driving. He said I should use it to start my family.”
When asked how he feels seeing people begging for alms, he said begging can not empower anyone because more efforts were required to break even. He stressed that begging can not lead one to enviable heights; that begging is dehumanizing and reduces one to a social misfit.
Ikoro who said he believes in the power of miracles, emphasized that with God all things are possible even though he solicited for help from government and public-spirited individuals for him to remain in business. The Abia-born cab driver who speaks impeccable english, said he has his Senior School Certificate with excellent grades but does not intend to further his education because he already has mouths to feed.
Ikoro however advised persons living with disabilities not to make themselves subjects of derisions and caricatures through alms- begging and other degrading tendencies but strive to explore and exploit the innate potentials in their conditions while urging well-to-do individuals to extend kindness to persons with special needs in the society to give them sense of belonging and inclusiveness in the scheme of things.