DAA News Network

Nigeria: No disabled people begging in the state of Bayelsa

Posted 17/12-09 at 02.25

Disabled people are no longer begging on the streets of Bayelsa, a state in the heart of the oil-rich Niger Delta.This lack of begging is, according to Miss Ziriki Timipiri Godswill, senior aid to the governor, because the administration has been working to empower and engage disabled people.

Miss Godswill said the Governor had shown compassion and treated disabled people equally, as well as approving a paralympics sports festival in the state next year.

The Federal Government's Minister of Women Affairs had expressed concern over the rising incidence of street begging among disabled people in most parts of the country. She has asked states to initiate disability-friendly policies of empowerment and engagement similar to those found in Bayelsa.


Editorial comment: While these reports may be true, it is curious that there is no mention as to the precise nature of the ‘disability-friendly policies of empowerment and engagement'.

What is known, is that despite, and some would say because of, its oil wealth, poverty is severe and widespread in Bayelsa.

A similar magic trick of making ‘unsightly' poor people vanish from public view has been accomplished in many other places not by ‘friendly' policies, but rather simply by sweeping them off the streets, throwing them in the backs of trucks and dumping them out of sight.

It would be interesting to hear from any of our readers with firsthand information of what is happening to disabled people in Bayelsa. If Governor Timipre Sylva really has discovered an effective way to engage and empower poor disabled people, we could like to know about it so we can share his formula as widely as possible.



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