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Persons with disabilities, tough times and Ramadan

People with disabilities, who are mostly seen as idle, are currently undergoing unutterable sufferings as a result of the country’s recent removal of fuel subsidy…

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

An inclusive and vibrant democracy is always 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. This unsullied democracy could deviate from its main objectives and principles if the well-being of the underprivileged and vulnerable citizens, their constitutional rights and dignity are not guaranteed.

Today, millions of disabled persons 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 can’t afford three square meals per day.

The World Bank recently estimated that about 15 per cent of Nigeria’s population has some form of disability. The World Health Organisation also revealed that Nigeria is among the countries with the highest rate of disability in the world. Do these set of 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 relevant authorities, ranging from governors, members of the legislature and state houses of assembly and philanthropic individuals to ameliorate hunger, penury and 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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