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Disabled persons protest alleged exclusion from Christmas largesse in Bayelsa

By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
A vehicular movement in and out of the Bayelsa State Government House was yesterday temporarily obstructed as pockets of physically challenged persons barricaded the entrance in protest over alleged exclusion from Christmas largesse.

The timely intervention of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Chief Richard Kpodoh however prevented the protest from degenerating into violence.

The protesters armed with their clutches with many of them on their wheel chairs led by their chairman, Francis Christopher had alleged that they were not being carried along by the government.

Specifically, they alleged that the governor’s aide on disability, Miss Timi Ziriki saddled with the responsibility of seeing to their welfare had been far away from them with the result that issuing relating to their welfare could not get to him.

The cited the World Disabled Day celebration when the governor’s was not at hand to grace the occasion with them noting with regret that when they contacted her on telephone about the event she feigned ignorance of the day.

The protesters also alleged that at a point they told the governor’s aide to see how they (physically challenged persons) could be paid stipends on monthly basis as well as being given Christmas largesse no matter how small so as to give them a sense of belonging like other groups in the state to no avail.

The protesters who called for the removal of the governor’s aide said they will prefer one of them to be appointed into the position, who according to them will understand their plight.

However the intervention of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Chief Richard Kpodoh doused the tension as he succeeded in persuading the protesters to leave the Government House entrance and moved across to the Isaac Boro Peace Park.

Kpodoh also personally rally round to raise some money to placate the protesters who were also clamouring to be given Christmas bonus.

At about 5.30pm when our correspondent left the Isaac Boro park Kpodoh was seen telling the protesters to organize themselves in groups as the SSA Disability, Ziriki watched in disbelieve the action of the protesters.


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