Association urges govt. to establish commission for physically challenged persons
By Mercy Osajiugo [NAN]
The Niger chapter of the Association of Physically Challenged Persons has called on the State Government to establish a commission to cater for people living with disabilities.
Malam Usman Kogo, Chairman of the state chapter of the Spinal Cord Injury Association, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Minna.
“We have made various submissions to the government on this request without success; the only thing government has done is to appoint 10 of our members as Special Assistants on disability matters.
“We do not have any problem with that; our only worry is that we do not feel the impact of our members that are special assistants to the governor.
“What we want is a ministry or commission for people living with disabilities; we believe that a special institution solely focused on our wellbeing will improve our lot,” he said.
Kogo said that government usually offer little assistance to the physically challenged persons during festivities, adding that such “little and occasional” assistance was not enough to cater for their families, especially children’s education.
He said that the members established the association to improve their lot, but regretted that not much had been achieved.
“Some of our members have resorted to begging on the streets; this is contrary to the ethics of our association, but they are left with no option.
“We established this association to reduce the menace of street begging to the barest minimum, unfortunately, we have not met our target because we do not have any support from the government,” he said.
Kogo expressed concern at the “dehumanising” treatment meted to his colleagues begging on the streets, and advised the government task force in Minna to seek a better solution to the issue.
“We do not like to beg, but we are constrained to do it because our children have to feed and go to school,” he stated.
Malam Usman Mohammed, Assistant Secretary of the association, who also spoke with NAN, called on members of the public to assist people living with disabilities willing to learn trades.
“Most of the people living with physical challenges are helpless and can’t feed themselves; society should be able to assist us to be self-reliant,” he said. (NAN)