Members of Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (JNAPD) have staged a protest at the FG Office of Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SUREP) in Umuahia, destroying the window blades, tables, and chairs.
Participants of the action, numbering over 200, have been protesting agains an alleged neglect by the SURE-P.
The state chairman of JNAPD, Stanley Onyemaechi explained to The Nation that the SURE-P had been designed to assist people like them, but so far the Office had been neglecting the people with disabilities.
Onyemaechi said he had attended a workshop in Calabar in March, where he was told that JNAPD was included in the SURE-P programme. However, until now no member of the board of the programme contacted them.
He disclosed that the board chairman in the state, David Nwokocha, said the group was not recognised by the programme.
Onyemaechi called the federal and state governments to involve them in the SURE-P, saying “we are Nigerians and should be involved with any programme designed by the federal government”.
He recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan announced the programme that was meant to take care of all categories of the people in Nigeria.
“We felt that our problems are over, as every segment of the society are expected to be involved in the programme, but we are disappointed with the things we are seeing now,” Onyemaechi stated.
He further said that there are about 6170 persons with different forms of disability in the state, most of whom are graduates without jobs,
“So we want the federal government through the SURE-P programme to include us, by teaching skills or empowering those of us with skills to establish ourselves,” JNAPD’s leader explained.
One of the members of the board of SURE-P in the state, Kingsley Ngunu said this was the first time he heard about the group and told them to come back on Thursday for a meeting with the board members, where their problems will be taken care of.