Coronavirus Pandemic has placed the lives of many vunerable people at risk of hunger and prune to starvation in Adamawa State North East Nigeria where Boko Haram activities crippled alot of Economy activities.
Our correspondent visited the training center of Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWD) in Adamawa and met somany of them who dump and deaf, blind people, cripples, some on wheel chairs while others on locally made roller Chair,looking neglected and in a sorry state with hunger seems to bite them harder,our correspondent Observed.
National Public Relation Officer (PRO) of Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWDs),Comrade Ibrahim Alhassan Ganye,a blind disabled Man told Zenger News that his Members are concomitant effected with the Lockdown without providing any Paliative to caution the effects.
He worried that the Federal Government has taken them to be third class citizens with no regard of their existence, only give special attention to what he refers to so “called normal human beings”
He revealed that the PLWD are more at risk than the normal people, saying that a blind man or a cripple on wheels Chair can contact the sickness through an enfected person trying to help them and he or she will automatically spread the virus to their people.
“No any assistance was given from the Federal and State Governments to keep them in one place and our people are kept at home with no any intervention, hunger is really biting them harder.What I’m telling you coronavirus will kill our people and hunger virus will also kill our people,we are just in a very high risk in contacting the Virus.” Ibrahim said
He continue to say that:‘’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.
‘’Look, even the National Orientation Agency (NOA) is not doing anything to sensitize our people.
‘’It is obvious nobody cares about us; instead, some of our people are being further discriminated against by several Nigerians, who see them as plagues. This is not fair, because in a time like this, with the lockdown across Nigeria, the people living with disabilities will be worst hit, but we are treated as if we caused our disability ourselves,” he fumes.
He made a passionate appeal to the Government, reminded them that PLWD are also part of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigerian and President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the disability prohibition act 2018 which suppose to Carry them along and be included in all Government policies.
The interpreter of Join national Association of PLWD in State Chapter,Mr Bamanga Kefas interpreted the conversation of Audu Idi,a dumbed disabled person also said they are at a very high risk of avoidable health crises and needless deaths as the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic worsens the livelihoods and survival of their members.
He worried that many persons living with disabilities may never benefit from the free food stimulus program introduced by the state government if Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri fails to co-opt as a clusters of the larger society.
While intimating The Nigerian Tribune,Kefas regreted that the lockdown been imposed without palliatives puts their over six hundred members at risk in the state with no succour seems to come around.
Comrade Abubakar Hosere, the state Secretary of Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWDs) said that “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 raised concerns that a lot of persons with disabilities in the state are yet to receive the food package promised them barely ten 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 seems 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.
Nigerian Tribune made all efforts to speak to officials of the state emergency agency and that of the state COVID-19 Containment Committee being headed by the secretary to the state government Engr. Bashir Ahmed has been futile.