The Centre for Infrastructural and Technological Advancement for the Blind has taken a swipe at the Nigerian Government for not involving representatives from each disability group in making key decisions around the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Chairman of the group, Jolomi Fenemigho, lamented the non-involvement of stakeholders from all the disability clusters as part of government’s decision making organs during this period.
He said, “The Federal Government has failed to include the special needs community during this difficult times. The community is not even included in any decision or policy making committee created to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is highly shameful for a country that claims to run an all-inclusive government. For how long will people speak on behalf of persons with special needs? When will disability stakeholders occupy seats at the round table?”
Fenemigho expressed disappointment at government’s actions especially since the commencement of the lockdown.
He reiterated his frustration with government’s inability and unwillingness to cater to the welfare of the special needs community in Nigeria.
According to him, even before the pandemic, government did little or nothing to ease the plight of persons with disability in Nigeria.
He said, “Why should anyone be surprised at their current disposition towards the disabled.
“During this difficult times where Palliatives ought to be distributed through the various disability clusters and information be disseminated through accessible mediums such as braille, audio, accessible websites and mobile applications for the blind and low vision, sign language interpreters and SMS lines for the deaf, the disabled are still ignored.
“This is a clear indication that the Federal Government really do not care for the welfare and well-being of all persons with disability in Nigeria.
“Before deciding to distribute palliatives to the disabled, government needs to set-up committees in all states and consult with disability clusters and disability groups to enable them actively participate during this lockdown and collate information of all members.”