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Blind protesters storm Imo Govt House



Blind protesters storm Imo Govt House

About 200 people with visual impairment under the aegis of the Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB), Imo State chapter, on Monday blocked the entry gates of the Government House, Owerri, in protest.

The protesters, who tried to force themselves into the premises of the Government house but were resisted by the security men on duty, said they wanted to see Governor Rochas Okorocha, over alleged neglect and abandonment.

Some of their grievances were the non-payment of their “welfare packages, annual subventions and unfulfilled promises by the governor”.


The association’s chairman, Mr. Kalu Christopher, told journalists that the protest was to demand the fulfilment of the promises made to his members by the governor on December 4, 2013.


He said: “We brought a litany of our problems for solution and the governor promised to solve some of them. Some of the promises he made included the establishment of the Special School for the Blind.

“In spite of the fact that Imo State has been boasting of being the educationally most advanced state, no blind person in Imo State has access to education except those who can afford to travel all the way to Ebonyi and Enugu states in search of primary and secondary education because there is none in Imo State.


“We met the governor in 2013 and he promised that the school for the blind would take off in September 2014. But in November that year when we led a protest to him about the non-availability of the school, do you know what the governor told us? He said to us, ‘had it been you came earlier, you would have seen truck carrying gravel to the new school site’.



“But since that 2014 till today, we have not seen the truck or the gravel and not even the school site has been shown to us. It is only in Imo State that a leader in that high position can openly lie without minding the effect.”


The group also alleged that government had ‘grossly marginalised’ members of the association in employment, empowerment opportunities and official programmes.


However, they said that despite the ill-treatment meted to them, they would not want to toe the line of violence, but keep finding ways to dialogue with government towards enhancing their welfare as bona fide citizens.

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