Physically Challenged Persons Protest in Akwa Ibom over Oil Spill Money

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Okon Bassey in Uyo

Activities at the Eket Local Government area of Akwa State were on Wednesday paralyzed as physically challenged persons protested non-inclusion in the payment of the oil spill compensation money given to the area by ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil had paid 25 percent of the N1.127 billion which the oil major claimed was for developmental projects in the area, not oil spill palliative which reportedly occurred on November 9, 2012 in the area.

THISDAY learnt that no fewer than 500 persons with disability including youths and women staged the protest at the local government secretariat complaining of non-inclusion of their members in the oil spill compensation fund made available by the American oil major.

The people with disability in a show of strength barricaded the entrances to the council secretariat in the protest that started by 7a.m.

Their action forced the local government council to be shut down as the workers that reported for work were left stranded.

Some of the placards displayed by the demonstration reads “We are stigmatised even in our community’’, “Elders give us our right”, “Why are we treated as non-indigenes of the area”, “Oil Spill Committee be bridge and not Barrier to person with disability in Eket’’, “Oil spill committee why refusing to include disable persons in the oil spill compensation money’’, “Elders carry us along.’’

The Publicity Secretary of Joint Association of Persons with disability, Eket chapter who was the spokesman for the protesters, Mr Raphael Ekanem, stressed the need for the Eket community to include disable in the community development projects in the area.

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