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Published On: Sun, Sep 8th, 2013

PHOTO/STORY:When Delta Activist Otive Igbuzor Dines with Physically Challenged at 50th

By Oghenekevwe Laba
For the less vulnerable and the physically challenged resident in Delta State, Friday, September 5th will ever remain in their memory. They will always wish that day would not have come to an end or every other day should be like that.

What is peculiar about that day? One may ask. Well that was the day renowned Delta State Activist and Philanthropist Dr Otive Igbuzor celebrated his 50th years birthday. Although, people have been celebrated their Golden Jubilee birthday ever since, but that of Igbuzor was peculiar
In a situation where people of similar personality like him would have been in the mist of ‘Who is who’ on a day like that but Igbuzor who is a renamed Pharmacist, Ph;D holder and known globally as an activist preferred to come low to celebrate his Golden jubilee birthday with the less privileged, less vulnerable and of course the physically challenged.
Seeing Igbuzor eating, drinking and dancing with these group people at the Hall of Celebration, Okpanam Road, Asaba, Delta State one began to wonder that if Delta or Nigeria has ten of a man like him there will be a great hope for the down trodden.
The Celebration Hall was filled to capacity with physically challenged on wheel chairs, sticks, some carried on shoulder, while others crippled on the floor. There was a lot of food to eat and drink to wash down the food. In short there is no better way to describe the scene than to say ‘It was a happy day for physically challenged’. They were in a world of their own without anyone bullying or looking down on them as they missed freely with Igbuzor.

Still wondering why Igbuzor decided to celebrate his birthday at that level despite his high standard in the society, the University of Benin graduate who hailed from Emonu-Orogun and Ugono-Orogun of Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State told Urhobotoday that he came from a humble background and the best he could do is to show appreciation to persons who are vulnerable in the society and persons living with disability.
According to him,”Secondly, I recorgnised that any of the incidents that lead to disability is avoidable and it is just way of my associating with them. Every human being has to make a certain decision about what they value in life. In a society we have developed to an extent where we can know what programme, what policies and what passions are favourable to the rich and which ones are favourable to the poor. Based on my philosophy and ideology everytime, I always associate with the oppressed, with the poor, with the vulnerable and persons living with disability fall within that rank.

Dr Otive Igbuzor

“When I look at it, my celebrating golden jubilee signified freedom. There is no better group of people to celebrate it with than persons living with disability. And for me it is to demonstrate my commitment that for the rest of my life I will devout it to serving humanity, especially the poor and vulnerable in the society including persons living with disability, women and youths.”
Responding to question of what physically challenged might gain from his government should his aspiration of occupying the seat of Delta State Government comes into reality, he said if he was able to form a government he would ensure that international covenant on people living with disability is domesticated, adding that he would set up a social security system where any persons living with disability that are not employed will get cash grant every month.
“There is an international covenant for people living with disability. It is what needs to be done for people living with disability. If I am able to form government, I will ensure that the international covenant is domesticated in Nigeria at the national level and state level. There must be a proper legal regime for the protection of persons living with disability. When that regime is there, public buildings will be disability fellow. Persons living with disability will have quota with various departments and government.

“As a matter of fact, our government will set up a social security system where any persons living with disability that are not employed will get cash grant every month. It is not a new thing. It is already happening in Ekiti and Jigawa states. Do you know the budget of Delta State? 470 billion. It is a lot and with few persons living with disability in the state, we should be able to cater for that,” Igbuzor disclosed, while moving around the hall shaking hands, discussing and embracing the physically challenged.
Speaking with Urhobotoday on the kind gesture of Igbuzor, Delta State Treasury of Physically Challenged People, Comrade Williamson described Igbuzor as a man with passions for persons living with disability in Delta State and even in Nigeria as a whole, just as he congratulated and prayed for him to celebrate more years ahead.
“On behalf of Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disability Delta State Chapter, we congratulate him and all his family. We pray for God’s protection and prosperity and the wisdom to carry on whatever vision he has for Delta State and anywhere he is,” he prayed, just as he enjoined other well to do Nigerians like Igbuzor to emuliate him.

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