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PLWDs clash with National Assembly security, seek fair treatment

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National Assembly


Senator trains 520 physically challenged in Akwa Ibom

There was pandemonium at the National Assembly entrance yesterday, as a group of People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) besieged the complex and pounced on security officials for calling in the police to disperse them.

Insisting that they came from the Niger Delta region to meet their lawmakers to ask why they were not included in the palliatives shared during the lockdown, they barricaded the entrance to the National Assembly.

Speaking under the aegis of Great Mind Foundation of People With Deformity, they forced their way into the National Assembly Complex to demand inclusion in all empowerment opportunities

President of the Bayelsa Chapter of the group, Emoto Azikiwe, told journalists that they wanted fair treatment from lawmakers from the South-South region, especially in view of payments to repentant militants and others.

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Addressing the protesters, Deputy Whip of the Senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, assured them that the National Assembly would support them, adding that their grievances have been noted and that they would be communicated to the leadership of the Senate.

Also, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) asked the group to select five of their members to meet him to enable them present their case for necessary action.

MEANWHILE, no fewer than 520 PLWDs have received training skills initiated by representative of Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District, Bassey Akpan.

The beneficiaries, drawn from the nine council areas of the Senatorial District and beyond, were trained in soap making, shoe making, mobile telephone technology and other skills in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

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The three-day training programme, which was held in Akpan’s constituency office in Uyo, ended yesterday and had resource persons from the Border Community Development Agency (BCDA), Abuja.

Speaking, Akpan said: “The programme was conceived based on the huge number of requests by the physically challenged persons in my constituency and made possible through the 2020 budget in collaboration with the BCDA.”

Akpan, who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), added that life support items such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, guide canes, mobile telephones and crutches would be distributed to participants.

He assured the participants would be given financial incentives to help them start up the various trades of their choice and a bag of rice for the Christmas season.

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