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PLWDs make case for children’s education

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People Living With Disability (PLWD) in Karomajiji, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have appealed to the Federal Government to be alive to its responsibility of providing a sound education for their children, else they become disabled also.

Speaking on behalf of the PLWD community, the secretary in FCT, Mohammed Dantelli, described any child without sound education as disabled, even if they have no physical disability.

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He was appealing through the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, when she was flagging off the distribution of palliatives to the PLWDs in Karomajiji on Saturday.

According to him, the community consists of about 520 households and more than 5,000 people.

The government school in the community is not receiving attention from the same government, but depends on the support of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to keep going, he added.

On the issue of accommodation, he said they had spent more than one decade at the makeshift location.

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His words, “We want to use this opportunity to bring before you our complaint about the place we live. We plead with you to pass our complaint to the FCT minister to help us by giving us a permanent place.”

Also the chairperson of Network of Disabled Women (NDW), Lois Auta, has thanked the minister for including PLWD among beneficiaries of the government’s palliative.

Meanwhile, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has stressed the need for the Federal Government to come up with disability-sensitive policies to protect PLWD during and after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

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CCD Executive Director, David Anyaele, who made this appeal during a press conference in Abuja yesterday, wondered why the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, whose responsibility it is to address the concerns of PLWDs, was yet to come out with a policy.

Lamenting that more than 25 million PLWDs in Nigeria are one of the most excluded groups in the society and among the hardest hit in the crisis in terms of health and economic impact, Anyaele maintained that the COVID-19 crisis was deepening existing inequalities, exposing the extent of exclusion and highlighting that work on disability inclusion had not been addressed by Nigeria.

He said: “Globally, and Nigeria in particular, it is recognised that people with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty, and they experience a higher rate of violence, neglect and abuse. COVID-19 is intensifying these inequalities and producing new threats. The pandemic has dealt a heavy blow on citizens with disabilities.”

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