In­side Abuja’s colony of phys­i­cally chal­lenged per­sons

Daily Trust - - ASO CHRONICLE -

func­tional.

“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.”

PHOTO: Zeenat Ab­du­lazeez

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