BY AMEH IDUJAGI, JALINGO – Persons with disabilities numbering over two hundred on Friday barricaded the main entrance into the Taraba State Government House, Jalingo.
The persons with disabilities comprising the blind, deaf and dumb as well as destitute, blocked the gate of the Government House thereby preventing movement in and out of the seat of power.
State Chairman of the Nigeria Association of the blind, Mallam Aliyu Mohammed Dado, told our correspondent that they were at the Government House in protest to demand for their rights.
Dabo said the disabled persons made up of men, women and children have converged at the gate of the Government House and keeping vigil since October 14, adding that they would continue to remain there until their demands were met.
He explained that the persons with disabilities are among other things demanding for employment of their members into the State civil service and empowerment of their members in gainful skills acquisition programmes.
Dabo also said that Governor Ishaku during his electioneering campaign, promised massive employment for persons with disabilities and empowerment of their members but wondered why the Governor has turned deaf ears to the cries of their members.
He added that a very good number of persons with disabilities, some of them graduates of various disciplines, participated in the last employment interview with the civil service Commission but lamented that not a single member was considered for employment.
According to him; “The government is not sensitive to our plight and I wonder why we are being treated as second class citizens in our own state. This is our third day outside the Government House gate but no government officials has deemed it necessary to talk to us”.
He vowed that the persons with disabilities would continue to remain at the gate of the Government House until their demands are met.
In his reaction, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan Abu said Governor Ishaku is concerned about the plight of every section of the people of the state.
Abu said; “The Governor does not discriminate against anyone. He gives special preference to the persons with disabilities”.
The spokesman of the governor noted that the government is yet to embark on massive employment, adding that persons with disabilities will be considered when the government begins full employment of staff and appealed to the protesters to sheathe their swords and go back home and await government’s further actions.