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Need to address plight of people with disabilities

People with disabilities who are mostly seen as idle are currently undergoing unutterable sufferings and slumping in deep dejection as a result of the country’s…

People with disabilities who are mostly seen as idle are currently undergoing unutterable sufferings and slumping in deep dejection as a result of the country’s recent removal of fuel subsidy that keeps giving rise to an unprecedented soaring inflation and sinking the masses deeper into multidimensional abject poverty and starvation.

An inclusive and vibrant democracy is always so desirous of lending a helping hand to these vulnerable groups. This unblemished democracy can only be actualised when all citizens are not stranded or marginalised while disbursing democratic dividends regardless of their disability, ethnicity, national, status, race, gender, religion and region.

Today, millions of idle people with disabilities, who are contingent on street begging for survival, are the worst hit by the adverse effects of the fuel subsidy removal. They are now being suffocated by pauperism, severe hunger and starvation since they couldn’t afford to get three square meals per day. 

It should be remembered that the World Bank has recently estimated that about 15 per cent of Nigeria’s population has some forms of disability. The World Health Organisation also revealed that Nigeria is among the countries that has the highest rates of disability in the world. Do these miserable human beings not deserve to be given special attention?

It is lamentable that due to their physical challenges, people with disabilities face daily struggles to access their basic needs, human rights, services, job opportunities and participation in government in Nigeria.

In this blessed month of Ramadan, in which each good deed of Muslims has a tenfold reward, I strongly call on Nigeria’s authorities, ranging from governors, members of the federal legislature and State Houses of Assembly and philanthropic individuals to ameliorate hunger, penury and unutterable sufferings confronting people with disabilities. Doing so will definitely gratify their creator and elevate their status in paradise.

Mustapha Baba Azare wrote from Bauchi State

 

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