Inside Abuja’s colony of physically challenged persons
“We are physically challenged. Look at our road; it is very bad and even worse during the rainy season. The rain has washed away the road. Going out to town or other neighbouring villages for our business activities is always difficult,” he explained.
The community’s youth leader and chairman, People with Disabilities Traders Union, Ibrahim Sagir, reiterated the craving of the populace for assistance,
“Merely looking at our lives you would know that we are in need.”
The electric poles and cables in the community, Sagir said, were installed about 7 months ago by a government agency, yet they are without electricity.
“The road is not okay for us, but we could not do anything because we are hoping to be relocated to our permanent place,” he said.
He said government thwarted their efforts to making a decent living due to the delay in their relocation plans.
He, however, commended the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) for making available a place where disabled people can trade in Wuse.
While condemning street begging, he said their union was working with the government to clear the territory of disabled beggars. He said with the opening of a zone dedicated to the people with disabilities in Wuse, street begging would be reduced.
“We are trying to make those that beg in the streets to come and join us. We do not need our brothers to go begging before they survive,” he assured, adding that they were still praying that this new government would make their lives move forward.
He explained that as they wait for government’s response and action on their relocation, many people in the community engage in many things like shoemaking, tailoring, welding etc.
We have people that sell belts, wallets and pens by the main roads in the city.
Sagir added, “Our youths are learning vocational skills such as tailoring, shoe -making, soup-making for women etc.”