By Raphael Ekpang
Persons with disabilities from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria on Thursday dared a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator James Manager over his derogatory comment against them at the National Assembly complex Abuja on Wednesday.
One of the leaders of the group, Rawlings Etim, said that they came all the way from their respective states to represent the rest, saying that their mission was to reach out to their lawmakers with letters requesting for support as they join the rest of the world to mark the world disabilities day and for Christmas packages.
He noted that they came to Abuja because at home the lawmakers fenced themselves with security agents as such they can reach them because of their conditions, but he lamented that when they came they met Senator James Manager who is representing Delta South at the Senate, but they were shocked of the treatment meted to them by the distinguished Senator.
According to him, “When we came, about 30 of us representing others from the nine states that comprise the Niger Delta region, we met one Senator called James Manager and he told us that we don’t have the right to come to Abuja, that we should go back to our villages.
“Because we are meeting him for the first time, we spared him, we would have tumbled him inside this national assembly and he cannot do anything to us,” he said.
However, before a team of Senators and Honourable members led by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Sabi Abdullahi’s arrive the scene these persons with abilities in disabilities have rough handled one of the Sergeant-at- arms and it took the efforts of the police officers who were at the scene to rescue the Sergeant-at-arms from their griped.
Meanwhile, during the intervention by Senator Sabi led team of lawmakers, this group of persons demanded among other things that all persons living with disabilities in Nigeria should be paid N200 thousand naira as monthly allowances, and that their lawmakers should respond to their demands that brought them to Abuja, among other things.
Etim noted that Militants are being paid by Federal Government as well as Boko Haram terrorists, so why can’t they pay them too who are the less privileged in the society.
They warned that if their demands are not met the government should be ready to contain them next year.