Ten year old David looked as if he could do without all the attention. I walked up to him as he sat in his new wheelchair and smiled. It did not take away the wariness on his face. He probably wasn’t sure if the chair was his for keeps or he was just trying it out. His mother was not nearby so I couldn’t talk to her but my colleague who did ,told me he was crippled due to protracted labour and his mothers refusal to undergo a C/S during delivery. One thing was sure however, he needed it.
Omale was ecstatic. Over and over again he kept calling down God’s blessings on the Permanent secretary ministry of women affairs for changing his status. He had just received a filling machine and a sewing machine. According to him” I was here the day the Minister handed over to Perm Sec, the Minister handed me over to her and asked her to take care of me. Since then, I have been coning,I was asked to hold on. This week, I received a call to come here. What I have been borrowing to work, when I am done I return it and pay something, they have given it to me for free”.
During the presentation ceremony, the permanent secretary, Mrs Ifeoma Anagbogu said the distribution exercise was part of the ministry’s effort to “eradicate poverty among persons living with disability.
” Persons with disability are supported with various forms of assist I’ve devices and economic empowerment materials such as wheelchairs, tricycles, braile Machines,guide canes, crutches, grinding machines,hair dryers, barbing clippers, sewing machines, vulcanizing machines etc so as to better their lives”.
“I therefore urge the beneficiaries of this initiative to make effective and judicious use of these materials, to justify the huge government resources invested. The beneficiaries should also note that officers of my ministry will be coming from time to time to visit them and assess the impact of this empowerment on their lives.

Abbas, a cobbler at Nyanya said the wheel chair he received will help him go about his search for a means of livelihood.

“I appreciate the government for coming to my aid, it will help me in getting to my Shop”.

The Director rehabilitation of the Ministry, Mrs Nkechi Onwukwe said the distribution is a continuum with ministry stocking materials and getting contributions form JICCA and other partners which are distributed periodically to those who apply for it. As to how those who given are selected ,she said their applications are scrutinized and individuals assessed to be sure they will make judicious use of items received.
One thing is clear, the 15 people living with disability who received items today, had felt the touch of responsive governance and it is hoped that this effort will be sustained and improved on.
Another food for thought is if the state ministries of women affairs who are also given these materials from the Federal, distribute it equitably or make efforts to replicate such which is part of their responsibility and core mandate.


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