Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, at the weekend made a passionate appeal that Nigerians should stop treating all People With Disabilities (PWDs) as less humans.
According to Olowo, “Various people we often see living with one ailment or the other are as vibrant and brilliant as able-bodied people, adding that “if given any slight opportunity, they would prove and surpass those without any ailment.”
He urged those living with disabilities too to jettison acts of begging, saying it is even a taboo to beg, especially among the Yoruba people.
Making the appeal in an emotion-laden voice at the occasion of the Year 2022 Sustainability Fund for the Aged PWDs organized by Kehinde Oshilaja Foundation for PWDs in Ebutte-Metta, Lagos, the Commissioner, who was represented at the event by Yusuf Lateef, urged all those at the event, to as a matter of importance, appreciate those living with disabilities and extend hands of fellowship to them.
He also implored all religious leaders to further help and continue lending assistance to the less privileged, especially those living with disabilities, because according to him, “Government alone cannot do the work.”
He also commended the Kehinde Oshilaja Foundation for sustaining the annual programme of soliciting assistance for his members, “because it is great to work for someone like Oshilaja, who also is blind to do this kind of coordination.”
“Let me express my heartfelt gratitude to the organisers of this laudable annual programme, Oshilaja Foundation, just as I would advise our people not to look down on PWDs as less humans but accord them the same respect as those without any disability. In the same manner, you also should not indulge in alms begging”, Olowo said.
He donated a substantial amount of money to assist three blind men to further their education, namely Segun Adeshina, Samad Ashaqa and Riliwan Babalola.
Responding, the Coordinator of the foundation, Kehinde Oshilaja, expressed appreciation to the commissioner for the laudable assistance and promised to utilize the fund appropriately.
He also told other members to brace up and think of what to do for a living and forget alms begging as advised.