By MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
Lagos — Visually impaired individuals in Lagos State, yesterday, protested over lack of availability of the white cane, which they use as a walking tool for the visually impaired, even as they celebrated the annual World White Cane and Safety Day in the state.
The peaceful protest under the aegis of the Nigeria Association of the Blind, Lagos State chapter, argued that the cost of the tool was too expensive for any visually impaired in the state.
They argued that the central government was not concerned about producing the cane within the country. And efforts to import the walking tool were thwarted by high import duties fixed by the Federal Government.
They lamented over the improper treatment they receive from the government and citizens of the country, saying “Nigerians were not according visually impaired the necessary assistance to make them live happily.”
Explaining the use of the White Cane, Mr. Victor Oteri said that it assist the visually impaired to navigate easily, adding “It helps us to know the object in front of us. And at night, it helps to alerts upcoming vehicles that such person has sight challenges.”
Confirming the protest, the Chairman of the association, Mr. Opeoluwa AKinola said “lack of availability of the White Cane angered our members today. Can you imagine that the White Cane is sold at N5, 000.”
“And larger percent of the visually impaired in the state don’t have the money to procure the material. And they believed that the Federal and State government should provide the walking tool for the visually impaired in the country,” Akinola said.