From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The saying that a man whose house is on fire does not chase rats played out recently when physically-challenged persons in the South East put aside the burden placed on them by their disabilities and converged on Umuahia, the Abia State capital, over the spate of insecurity that has bedevilled the country, particularly the South East.
Again, in the spirit of the axiom that when the eye is crying, the nose joins, the physically challenged, under the aegis of Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPWD), South East zone, who visited Bishop Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha of the Methodist Church at his Vision Africa Radio Station, did not only join their able-bodied brothers and sisters to bemoan the spite of insecurity in the land, but sought God’s intervention.
JONAPWD equally appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything possible to restore peace to the country.
The association also knocked at the doorposts of world bodies like the United Nations, European Union, African Union and the United States to assist Nigeria in its quest to return peace to the land.
In telling Bishop Onuoha the essence of their visit, JONAPWD’s South East coordinator, Wisdom Okechkwu Kalu, said they came to appeal to the cleric as a respected man of God and a peacemaker to reach out to the President and other leaders in the country to let them understand the need for peace to reign.
He said: “The purpose of our visit is to appeal to you to use your influence to call for peace and dialogue among the actors in the issues leading to violence and general insecurity in the country.
“We also wish to use the opportunity to appeal to you to use your respectable personality to influence individuals and government to come to the aid of persons with disability, as many of us are facing untold hardship in the country at the moment as a result of the economic hardship and rising inflation.
“On behalf of all the physically-challenged persons in the South East, we appeal to you to appeal to President Buhari to do everything within his power to ensure that peace reigns in the country so that we will only suffer disability and not compound it with insecurity.
“When there is insecurity in the land, as we presently have, disabled persons are the most vulnerable. It is on this note that we are calling on President Buhari to ensure that peace reigns in the country, because we cannot be suffering disability and at the same time suffer from insecurity.
“Also worthy of note is the fact that our community would also love to use the opportunity of the visit to observe a special prayer session with you for peaceful resolution of all issues of disagreement in the country and for the the prosperity of our nation and its citizens.”
Representatives of physically-challenged persons in the five states of the South East spoke in like manner and called on Bishop Onuoha to take their message to the appropriate quarters.
Responding, the cleric explained that nobody was supporting the burning down of police stations and other public buildings. He, however, called on security agents to be circumspect in handling the security situation in the South East.
“I do not want to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari has asked security agents to destroy lives, but to rather secure them.
“Those killing policemen and burning down their stations should stop it. Those inside the bushes, destroying farm crops, raping women and killing them should also stop it so that peace can reign in the land,” he said.