By Dayo Johnson
Posted to the Web: Friday, September 07, 2007
AKURE—The first lady, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua yesterday said that the plight of the physically challenged persons in the society should not be left alone for government to shoulder but that private individuals should also be fully involved.
She spoke yesterday in Akure, the Ondo state capital at the commissioning of the Mobility Aid and Braille Centre of the Handicapped Education Foundation (HANDEF) a Non-Governmental Organization established by the wife of the Ondo State governor, Mrs. Olufunke Agagu. The First Lady said that there was an urgent need to come to the aid of the physically challenged persons in the society.
She was accompainied to the event by wife of the Vice-President, Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan and wives of other state governors across the country.
Corporate bodies, individuals and others donated cash and materials to the Ondo first lady's NGO.
Hajia Yar'Adua noted that since the handicapped were members of the society, governments at all levels should always be formulating policies and programmes that would make living more meaningful to them. She therefore urged Nigerians to be committed to the enlistment of the physically challenged in the society and be ready to lend a helping hand to them.
While saying that the centre would go a long way to bring succour to the people living with disabilities in the state and its environment, the wife of the President commended the initiator of HANDEF for the centre, where mobility aid for the handicapped would be assembled.
In her address, the founder of HANDEF, Mrs Agagu said the project was borne out of her concern for the physically challenged, particularly the students among them.
Mrs Agagu explained that the project was one of the various projects already embarked upon by the foundation in order to contribute to the development of the physically challenged in the country. She disclosed that the Agip Oil Nigeria Plc and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) donated the center to the organization.