Lockdown: NGO urges A’Ibom govt. to consider physically challenged for palliatives

An NGO, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has appealed to Akwa Ibom Government to consider persons with disabilities in the distribution of palliatives during the lockdown.

The Executive Director, CCD, Mr. David Anyaele, made the appeal in a statement made available to newsmen in Uyo on Thursday.

The Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, had announced that plans were underway to provide relief materials to low-income people to cushion effects of the lockdown.

According to Anyaele, the 14-day lockdown will affect persons with disabilities more than other persons.

He urged the governor to ensure the safety and protection of persons with disabilities in accordance with the law.

The executive director said that the appeal became necessary as the government had yet to sign the State Disability Law.

“This is to appeal to Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Udom, not to leave persons with disabilities behind in the distribution of relief materials and palliatives to all villages.

“It is obvious that persons with disabilities are the worst affected as a result of the lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“As the government plans to send palliatives to all villages in Akwa Ibom to assist residents during the lockdown, we appeal that persons with disabilities are given priority in the distribution of relief materials,” Anyaele said.

He also called on the government to consult the organizations of persons with disabilities for support in the area of sign language interpretation.

The CCD boss added that there was a need for the establishment of disability desk officers to enhance communication on coronavirus pandemic in the state.

He said that the CCD would be monitoring the extent of access and inclusion of Akwa Ibom persons with disabilities in the distribution of the relief materials.

“It is in our interest to document and disseminate findings to local and international organizations working on democratic governance.

“International development cooperation, human rights and disability issues with the view of attracting policy attention to the long-neglected issue on the rights of persons with disabilities,” Anyaele said. (NAN)

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