Persons with disabilities barricade NNPC towers over alleged marginalisation
Persons with disabilities from the oil communities in Niger Delta yesterday barricaded the entrance to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) towers in Abuja to protest against alleged marginalisation.
The protesters, who also blocked one of the lanes of Herbert Macaulay Way in the Central Business District, accused the corporation of excluding people that are physically challenged, especially in Delta State from its programmes.
This protest, which caused panic for motorists, attracted heavy security presence to the tower and obstructed activities at the corporation.
Delta State Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Obruche Omor, who led the group, said the communities were neglected in economic empowerment, employment slot, pipeline surveillance job, opportunity to load petroleum products as well as in skill empowerment.
Omor said the corporation, especially through its refinery in Warri, has continued to oppress and intimidate persons with disabilities in its programmes.
“We have people, who always go there to get tickets for loading but persons with disabilities have been excluded…’
The worse situation is that we are told some people are special and that whatever approval they get is from NNPC headquarter5.
“We have followed the rule of law and every diplomatic channel to ensure that this matter is resolved. We wrote to the GM Public Affairs, to the GMD, and the Minister, Ibe Kachukwu. We even wrote letters of protest.
“We were here in April and Kachukwu said the corporation would look into the issue but nothing happened. We informed NNPC before we embarked on the protest but it is still paying lips service.
“Those who are been given opportunities are not better than us. What we are saying is that we need equal opportunity. Disability can happen to anyone at anytime. Some of us here were not born like this,” Omor stated.
Omor, who lamented over the poor treatment of disables in the country, insisted that negligence of persons with disability remained a time bomb.
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