By Patrick Obia
Coalition of Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, in Cross River State, has dish out words of encouragement saying there is “ability in disability” especially those physically challenged in the society.
The Coordinator of CSOs against COVID-19 action in the State, Mr. Gabriel Adim stated this on Hit 95.9 FM program (Winning COVID) with a topic “COVID-19 pandemic and impact on persons with disability” where he said those living with disabilities should not see themselves like people who have been rejected, imploring them to come out and get themselves involve, advocate, as well as making themselves available for opportunities as Civil Societies is ready to support and assist them.
“I think there is ability in disability, they should not see themselves like people who have been rejected, they need to come up, they need to advocate, they need to be involve, they need to come out and also make themselves available for opportunities. Civil Society Organization is everly open and ready to take them along, to speak on their behalf and to also make it known that these people need the support as well as every other person need support. For me, there is ability in disability. We will continue to do our work, we will continue to advocate, we will continue to echoe and speak on their behalf to ensure they receive the necessary support even by the Government, the stakeholders and any aspect of the society.”
Adim added that these people need to be cared for and carried along as many of them find it very difficult to move around on their own maintaining that they are part and parcel of the society.
“What we Coalition of Civil Society did was that, we were very careful in selecting the people in the Coalition and we picked someone with disability among our group and as I speak with you, we have been in serious talks with the State Government, specifically on the palliatives that were distributed sometimes and as I speak to you we have the assurance of the Commissioner for Health who promised that in subsequent distribution these persons will be specially cared for.
“Look, it might be easier for me to scale through but how do they even move around. You will see the difficulties, the challenges they pass through. Some of them have been neglected even to board a taxi is very difficult. We have assured the government that, these persons will be cared for.”
On how people view those living with disability, Gabriel inferred that, “It is a behavourial issue that we need to change the public perception because usually, these people have been so neglected, they make the business environment so difficult for them, they don’t see them as part of the people. I think this is an opportunity for everybody to pay attention. Look at these guys and put yourself in their shoes and know that this is a situation we must take up to ensure these people are inclusive here; we need to include them in every aspect of the society and whatever we are doing as well as make them feel at home whether COVID-19 or no COVID-19. The business environment must be friendly with them.”
He call on the Government to make due consultation when formulating or making decisions in order not to tilt against those with disability, reiterating that equality should be key in a society as anyone can be disabled.
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