The Association of Lawyers with Disabilities in Nigeria (ALDIN) has urged Federal and State Governments to provide food and basic necessities for vulnerable persons in the country.
ALDIN said this in a statement jointly signed by its President Mr Daniel Onwe, and General-Secretary, Mr Gaius Ogan, in Enugu yesterday.
“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 in an extraordinarily 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.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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