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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Tension as people living with disabilities storm National Assembly

          

Members of the Great-Mind Foundation of People with Deformities in the Niger Delta on Thursday stormed the National Assembly saying they want to see Senators representing states in the Niger Delta.

They vowed that they will not leave the complex until they have audience with their lawmakers present their proposal for skill acquisition, celebration of World Disability Day and Christmas.

There was palpable tension in the complex while the commotion by the group at the entrances lasted.

The group numbering over 20 were said to have resisted security personnel by scaling the inner gates into the National Assembly after they were locked out.

They later made their way to the entrance of the New Building (Senate Wing) where they were also denied entrance by security operatives.

They were seen manhandling a Sergeant-At-Arms who tried to prevent them from gaining entrance before the glass doors were locked from behind.

Policemen on duty were not also spared of their fury as some of them had their uniforms ruffled by the apparently uncontrollable disabled persons.

The disabled persons later shifted their agitation to the White House (main entrance to the chambers of the National Assembly) where they were also stopped from entrance by security agencies manning the doors.

Staff and visitors alike were locked out as a result of the development. Some staff were later seen making a detour to the back of the complex in order to gain entrance through the back door.

How can they come to this level if not for serious security lapses,” said a staff that could not enter the building as a result of the incident.

Some of the disabled persons later pulled off their clothes and protested half naked. Some with clutches sat down across the way leading to the main entrance thereby preventing vehicular movement.

One of the disabled persons, Mr. Emotonghen Azikiwe Femi to reporters that they were at the National Assembly to demand a monthly stipend of N200, 000 each for members of the group.

“We are aware of disability Bill. Where is the money? Where is the Bill? They are just saying it with the mouth. Nothing has been done, nothing.

“We blocked here so that every Nigerian would be affected. After here, ‘na’ end Nigeria protest we are going to do on the road. When EndSARS started Nigerian government ran away. We must start something in this country and all these nonsense will stop.

“Where is the commission, ‘dem’ carry able man put as chairman of person with disability. ‘Dem dey craze.’ If they cannot pay all the disabled in Nigeria, they would not have peace. From next year 2021, they will see the hell in us.”

When told that the government may not be able to pay each member of group N200,000 every month, Femi said: “No money? They are liars, government are thieves. Na lie, they are hoodlums, they are armed robbers, they are the highest criminals in Nigeria.”

He added: “We have the right to sue senators to court over not taking care of persons with disabilities. They are paying members of the National Assembly allowances for persons with disability.

“In every sector as a senator they do receive percentage in construction of roads, infrastructure and all of that.

“Empowerment programme they do give them allocation for that. What have they been doing in their various constituencies?

“Now we came into Abuja, gave them proposal for world disability day and for Christmas package yet these people gave us deaf ears.”

Five members of the group were later invited for a talk with representatives of the leadership of the National Assembly at about 12.50pm.

A source close to the group said they have been going to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in Abuja since the beginning of the week without being attended to by any of the officials.

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