Says plight of vulnerable Nigerians getting worse
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As Nigeria joins the world to mark International Day For Older Persons and International Cerebral Palsy Day on October 1 and 6 respectively, a non-profit making organization, One Love Foundation, OLF, Sunday, called for attention on old people and persons with cerebral palsy in the country.
This was the assertion of the Founder and President, OLF, Chief Patrick Eholor, while speaking with Vanguard on the need to give adequate care to vulnerable persons in the country.
Eholor who lamented the poor treatment of vulnerable Nigerians left to their fate by family members, government and society said there is no clear-cut policy to tackle their challenges and as a result suffer and die painfully.
He also decried discrimination, oppression, violence, abuse of human rights, and brutality they face from society.
The International Day For Older Persons 2020 with the theme, ‘We are in the Decade of Healthy Ageing’ was celebrated on October 1, 2020, and it is the 30th anniversary of the Day coinciding with Nigeria’s diamond independence anniversary.
History has it that the UN General Assembly designated October 1 of every year as the International Day of Older Persons on December 14, 1990.
According to a report currently there about 700 million people over 60 years of age, which is predicted that by 2050, this figure will increase to about 2 billion.
Meanwhile, the International Cerebral Palsy Day with the theme, ‘Make Your Mark’ is coming up on October 6, 2020.
The day is to celebrate and affirm the lives of the 17 million people living with Cerebral Palsy across the world.
He said: “Old people are supposed to be treated like an angel in a responsible society. They are supposed to be on social benefits. They are supposed to have a social club. People with down-syndrome supposed to be treated as very special people in our society because of their disability.
“This set of Nigerians is treated very poorly in this country. They are called and referred to as witches, wizards, and mami-water spirits possessed with demons. In fact, they are being treated like mad people, and it is very unfair to them. They are vulnerable people.”
He further stated that “Disability package should be provided for them including welfare. We in One Love Foundation are trying to our part on our part to add value to the lives of vulnerable persons in the country according to our resources and o the best of our ability. Although it is not easy we are doing our part.”
He also expressed displeasure with the way and manner past and present administrations have handled issues concerning vulnerable persons.
“I think past and present governments have lost focus in this area, and so many other interesting areas. There are no plans for them. If there is any plans they are not implemented which is very unfortunate.
“I will appeal to the Christians and Muslims faithful to find a reason to do more for this category of people in our society”, he stated.