Effanga Francis Umoh, a physically impaired waste collector in a market in Calabar, Cross River State, in an interview with Vanguard disclosed that he does not go the hospital when he is ill, but drink herbs and smokes marijuana as his medications.
According to Umoh who carries his big basket filled with waste to point of disposal while using his buttocks to crawl on the ground, it was lack of money that pushed him into using marijuana as medical therapy.
“The money the market women pay to pack their refuse cannot even buy me enough food to eat and Igbo (marijuana) to cool my body, so which one do I take to the hospital for treatment? .
I stay at home and buy herbs from Mallam and smoke some Igbo and God always cures me. Even when I have sores on my body because of scratching on the ground, I burn the sores with Igbo and I get well.”
Asked why he does not sit at one spot and beg for alms rather than undertaking the laborious activity to make money, he said: “I am an Efik man and we do not beg for alms in any circumstance because we are a proud nation. So I will rather work than bring shame to my people.”
Vanguard reported that a close look at his body showed spots of healed sores and some fresh ones spread all over his body, backing up his claim that he ‘heals’ the wounds by burning them with marijuana fire.
On how he became a waste collector, Umoh said;
“I started this business a long time ago. I always collected refuse from the market women and carry to the Calabar River where I dump them, but when former governor, Mr. Donald Duke, introduced the waste bins in Calabar and put some in the markets, many of my customers started dumping their waste in the bins, but some people still allowed me dispose their refuse and they give me stipends.
“I used to walk upright just like you, but three years ago, I became so sick and I thought I was going to die but God saved me and when I recovered, I could not walk again, so instead of staying in my house to die, I decided to be crawling to do my business”