The federal and state governments have been called upon to provide food and basic necessities for vulnerable persons in the country, especially now in the face of the spread of the dreaded COVID-19.
The call was made by the Association of Lawyers Living With Disabilities in Nigeria (ALDIN).
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The organisation made this call in a statement jointly signed by its President, Mr Daniel Onwe, and General-Secretary, Mr Gaius Ogan, in Enugu, Sunday.
“This has become imperative as the country gradually draws close to a total lockdown to check spread of coronavirus,’’ the association said.
It noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had put Nigerians under a trying time requiring extraordinary actions.
“Total lockdown, as advised by experts, will provide solution against the impending doom, then the government should exercise the required courage to order and enforce a lockdown accordingly.
“However, the fact that majority of Nigerians eke out a living one day at a time should be kept in focus.
“Therefore, governments at all levels, in collaboration with volunteer organisations, religions bodies and kind hearted individual, should quickly plan for distribution of food and other basic amenities to persons who will need them, no matter where they are, with particular attention on those who are already vulnerable.
“This will give everyone the needed comfort to comply with a total lockdown.
“There is no time that the saying prevention is better than cure is more apt than now.
“The cost of maintaining people at home no doubt will be much less that the cost treating them of COVID-19,’’ it said.
The association also noted with dismay that most of the safety briefings on the coronavirus do not factor in the peculiarities of persons with disabilities, particularly the deaf, who required sign language interpretation.
“The necessary correction should be taken forthwith by engaging sign language interpreters in all such briefings, as is the case in other countries.
“ALDIN is optimistic that Nigerians, and indeed the world, shall come out of this crisis better people,’’ it the statement said.