Lockdown: We’re At Risk, PLWDs Tell Governor Fintiri

They say many PLWDs in the state have not received the food package promised them 10 days after the promise was made.

Some PLWDs in Adamawa State.

Persons living with disabilities (PWLDs) in Adamawa State have raised the alarm that they are at risk of avoidable health crises and needless deaths as the COVID-19 lockdown threatens their livelihood and survival.

The group said that many persons living with disabilities may never benefit from the free food stimulus programme introduced by the state government if Governor Fintiri failed to co-opt clusters PLWDs and Civil Society Organisations as monitors in the palliative distribution process.

Speaking to journalists at their training centre in Jimeta-Yola, leaders of the group regret that the lockdown without palliatives puts disabled persons at risk in the state.

Comrade Abubakar Hosere, the state Secretary of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWDs) said, “We are deeply worried about a recent revelation that some elements have hijacked the free food program initiated by the state, and the severe consequences this sabotage will bring to persons with special needs in the state.”

Hosere noted that many PLWDs in the state were yet to receive the food package promised them barely 10 days after the promise was made.

“People living with disabilities are caged and now languishing without any palliative; we have over 20,000 members in the state and it seem nothing is being done to assist us in this trial moment.

“This is why we called for this press briefing to intimate the world on our plight here in Adamawa,’’ Hosere said.

Also corroborating the state Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the group, Mr. Bitrus Richard, urged the state government to provide each cluster of PLWDs with the logistics to distribute the stimulus package to their members since each of the clusters (Blind, Deaf, Albinos, Physical and others) has a register of their members.

“This response strategy, if considered by His Excellency, will have a far-reaching positive impact on disabled persons in the state in the long run.

“We were shocked that the government helps other vulnerable groups like Keke-Napep riders but excluding people with disabilities,” he said.

Alhassan Ibrahim Ganye, the National Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the group, also pointed out that there hasn’t been any known plan by the government at various levels, and also individuals and corporate organisations to accommodate their needs at this time.

“It appears people living with disabilities in Nigeria are left on their own; we are yet to see any palliative by either state or local governments, and even individual and corporate organizations.”

“Even the National Orientation Agency (NOA) is not doing anything to sensitize our people,” he said.

The Interview Editors

Written by The Interview Editors

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