At least 200 blind people under the umbrella of the Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB), Imo chapter, on Monday, March 13, took over the streets, blocking the entry gates of the Imo Government House, Owerri, in protest, New Telegraph reports.
The report said the protesters attempted to force themselves into the premises of the governor’s office complex but they were prevented by security personnel.
They claimed they wanted to see Rochas Okorocha for allegedly neglecting them over reported non-payment of their welfare packages, annual subventions and unfulfilled promises by the governor.
The chairman of the association, Kalu Christopher, said they wanted the governor to fulfil his promises of December 4, 2013.
“We brought a litany of our problems for solution and the governor promised to solve some of them and some of the promises he made included the establishment of the special school for the blind in the state.
“In spite of the fact that Imo state has been boasting of being the educationally most advanced state, no blind person in Imo state has access to education except those who can afford to travel all the way to Ebonyi and Enugu states in search of primary and secondary education because there is none in Imo state
“We met the governor in 2013 and he promised that the school for the blind would take off in September 2014.
“But in November that year when we led a protest to him about the non-availability of the school, do you know what the governor told us?
"He said to us, ‘had it been you came earlier, you would have seen a truck carrying gravel to the new school site’.
“But since that 2014 till today, we have not seen the truck nor the gravel and not even the school site has been shown to us. It is only in Imo state that a leader in that high position can openly lie without minding the effect.
“Again, our colleagues in secondary and tertiary schools have allowances they receive annually which is called bursary allowance.
"But since this government came on board, Governor Okorocha paid only two years and has since stopped that payment claiming that he is giving Imo State free education.
“On the annual subvention that is paid to the association, this government stopped it in the past seven years, that has amounted to over N7 million. If actually he considers us as part of Imo state, our needs should be taken care of,” he said.
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According to him, one of their grievance is that the governor promised to employ some of their members who are qualified in the civil service.
“But, this government employed over 3000 workers into the state civil service last year but none of our members was deemed fit to be employed despite the heights we have gone to gain qualifications,” he said adding that the United Nations convention upgraded employment that should be given to the blind from two to 10 percent.
He said the Imo state government does not care about them.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Governor Rochas Okorocha was recently accused of ‘mindlessly destroying’ the state’s economy, by the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN).
The group made its comments via its chairman, Dr Phillip Njemanze, in a press release titled: “The 10 Mortal Sins of Governor Rochas Okorocha.”
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