Physically-challenged persons call for their consideration while constructing public structures

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Physically-challenged persons in the federal capital territory have called on the federal government and other corporate bodies to put into consideration the plight of the physically-challenged when constructing public structure.

They made the call in Abuja during a series of practical demonstrations of challenges encountered by the disabled while accessing public amenities.

The practical exercise which was organized by a non-governmental organization, Disabled Persons Social Needs Initiatives, began from the Total Filling Station at Berger Zone 6 junction to Wuse market where some of the physically-challenged demonstrated the difficulties they encounter while boarding the BRT.

One of the physically-challenged, Ihekwoba Paul on a wheelchair who couldn’t access the bus lamented that most public facilities in Nigeria lack provision for the physically-challenged.

Mr Paul said it was time for the government and policy makers to brace up like other countries and put their needs into consideration to enable them live normal lives.

“We suffer this everyday. And as you can see, this is stigmatizing for me to stand to enter a vehicle and I cannot enter.

“Then there is this attitude of Eyaa! Sorry! Can I help you? No barrier, no disability. It’s high time that the society understands that people like this are also part and parcel of the system.”

He said.

Also at the Wuse market, Rose Otokpo, who is blind frowned at the attitude of Nigerians towards the physically-challenged.

“The way they at times treat us in the public place make me feel bad. At times somebody will push you and be cursing you for standing in their path.

“We want the government to help us. Entering a market like this, with all the open drainage, we find it difficult to cross if not for the help of our stick.”

She said.

Earlier, the organizer and coordinator of the Disabled Persons Social Needs Initiative, Mr Liman Musa expressed optimism that demonstrations will go a long way to raise awareness on the challenges encountered by the disabled daily.

“We want individuals, corporate organizations and the government to see how they can adjust for us,”

He stated.

Mr Musa also expressed dissatisfaction over the non-passage of the Disability Bill before the National Assembly which he said would address the challenges faced by the physically-challenged in the society when it becomes law.

Ọlaọha Ezeja

Ọlaọha Ezeja is the founder of ezeja and is based in Enugu.
Contact Ọlaọha at olaoha@ezeja.com.

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