By Chris Ochayi
No fewer than seven million aged people in the country have appealed to the Federal Government to establish a commission for Ageing and Elderly Persons with a view to addressing their current plights and sufferings.
The ageing Nigerians said the creation of the commission would provide an environment which will encourage and promote active living for all aged groups, thus fostering social capital and a sense of community living.
They also called on the federal and state governments to establish geriatric hospitals across the country to specifically address ageing medical challenges such as diabetics, hypertension, eye problems, arthritis and waste pains among others.
Operating under the aegis of Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria, COSROPIN, the elderly argued that they deserve cares because ageing is not an emergency situation or an accident, but a transitory period of maturation, a process that every human being prays to go through.
Presenting a communiqué at its one-day national conference, which was chaired by former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd), weekend in Abuja, President of COSROPIN, Dr. Eze Ajoku, called on all political parties to include issues of ageing and elderly in their political manifesto and agenda of governance.
The conference keynote paper entitled, “Stepping into the Future: the Nigeria perspective on ageing, care-giving, rights and privileges of older persons in Nigeria, was presented by a renown diplomat, Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari.
The communiqué, amongst others, “Called on the government to provide jobs for our teeming youths so that they could look after their aged parents thus reinforcing our well acclaimed social inclusiveness.
“COSROPIN called on governments at all level to join hands with her in her determination to ensure Nigeria joined the comity of nations which propagate, respect and enforce the rights of older persons whose vulnerability is recognised worldwide.”