Thursday, 5 March 2015

Physically challenged persons protest non-inclusion in SURE-P

Persons with Disabilities in Bayelsa State on Thursday staged a peaceful protest in Yenagoa over their non-inclusion in the Subsidy Re-investment Programme of the Federal Government.
The placard-carrying physically-challenged persons, numbering over 50, took their protest to some major streets and media houses in the state capital demanding inclusion in the programme.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read, “Stop discriminating against physically-challenged in the state”, “5% inclusion is imperative”, “Community leaders and Kalango stop hijacking our chances”, “SURE-P,we are part of Nigeria, stop discriminating against us” and “Graduate Internship Scheme, we should be included. We have graduates among us”.

President, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Isaac Stephens, lamented that members of the group had been sidelined in the activities of the programme since its inception in 2012.

He said some of their graduates in the state had been denied participation in the Graduate Internship Scheme of the SURE-P.

Stephens complained that the five per cent slots to persons with disabilities in the 3,000 empowerment chances allocated to the Bayelsa State Government had been hijacked by politicians.

He said they took to the streets because the state coordinator of SURE-P, Mr. Michael Kalango, had been avoiding them and “making fake promises on phone.”

He said the JNAPD was the only group that came out to support the removal of subsidy in 2012 which triggered mass protests across the nation.

He said members of the association had nothing to show for backing the government on the subsidy removal.

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