By Abayomi Adeshida
The ravaging COVID-19 epidemic cases which has been rising in over two hundred countries has been described as the opportunity created for the Nigerian Traditional Institution to provide leadership to heal the world and guarantee the opportunities to attain all the potentials hidden in Africans, especially those who are physically challenged.
The Equal Rights Disability for Persons with Disabilities International, a non-profit organisation based in Texas, United States of America disclosed in a statement monitored in Abuja that the government should identify natural leaders like the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi who has declared a period of cleansing his kingdom traditionally, as well as tap from the experience of the Nri Kingdom in Anambra State where the rights, equality and dignity of persons with Disabilities, dwarfs and Albinos were fully protected.
According to the document circulated by the President of the group, Chief Eric Ndubueze Ufom, “Africa and indeed the entire world is waiting for Nigeria to identify COVID-19 as a new world order which came with a very clear message to the world community, including Nigeria.
“It is for the world to fully start to look inwards for solution to all human problems, including killer diseases and other problems instigated through the changes brought about due to human activities that instigated climate change.
“We believe that this pandemic that has touched all the continents of the world is for the world to fully start protecting the rights, equality and dignity of persons with disabilities, women, children, the elderly and disadvantaged.
“It is about climate change, waste, transboundary, indoors, outdoor air pollution and their massive health effects which are already worst than COVID-19 pandemic, while the most developed nations looked the other way.
“The world is waiting for Africa to provide leadership to start their respective digital economic development, industrialisation, innovation and technology without being fully dependent on others,” the non-government organisation said in the statement.
The statement implored African leaders to follow the declaration by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi to cleanse the land in Ile-Ife and start to build a strong foundation where the hidden potentials in all Africans, especially the disabled Africans would be guaranteed.
According to the document, “the royal father of the Yoruba race, the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Gunwusi Ojaja II took the best reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic when he declared a number of days to cleanse his kingdom.
“We expect the Federal Government to follow his steps to cleanse the entire country so that all the other parts of the continent would follow the process and make the continent demonstrate preparedness to show the way in the new world order.
“Similarly, government should have supported that process with the identification of the direct descendants of the Nri Kingdom who still possess the spiritual leadership to continue with those legacies handed down to generations by the Nri forefathers to protect all freeborn in all parts of the world and get them to run the world without epidemics and killer diseases due to human activities.
“By so doing, if Nigeria can make life meaningful to the thirty-one million Nigerians living with disabilities, there would be glimmer of hope for the over two billion estimated to be living with disabilities and one form of challenges or the other around the world,” the group concluded.