…As protesters want Okoli removed for want of competence.
By Damian Duruiheoma
Protest against the continued retention of Mrs. Kate Okoli as the Special Assistance to the governor on physically challenged citizens by Governor Rochas Okorocha grounded parts of Owerri, the Imo State capital on Thursday.
Thousands of the disabled persons blocked the Orlu Road/Lifeline Assembly Junction with buses thus, preventing any vehicles (including government, military and police vans) from going out or coming in.
They chanted songs in condemnation of the activities of Mrs. Okoli in the bureau for the special citizens which they said were against them and said they would not leave until Governor Okorocha addressed them himself.
The Special Citizens, most of who came in their wheelchairs, crutches ad walking aids, carried placards with inscriptions: Rochas, sack Kate Okoli; Okoli is causing problems in Imo disable community; Kate, where is the N1million given to the disabled by Osita Izunazo; Okoli hates persons with disabilities, etc.
The protest choked the capital city and led to motorists and travelers spending four to five hours before they were able to locate alternative roots.
For instance, those traveling to Port Harcourt had to go through Aba Road to Federal Poly Nekede Road before coming out to FUTO junctrion at Obinze while those going to Orlu, Lagos, Onitsha, etc had to go through Okigwe Toad through Works Layout to Amakohia from where they were able to go through Egbeada New Road before coming out to Onitsha Road.
The presence of the military, Navy and police men and even commissioners could not deter the angry disabled persons who insisted the governor must see them or they continue till three days.
Speaking to Nigeria Newspoint, the President of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Dr. Stanley Nwachukwu said the disabled persons were aggrieved because Mrs. Okoli does not know anything about disability management and that “all she does is to do business and play politics with us”.
Dr. Nwachukwu alleged that the woman uses the members to build her NGO.
According to him, “anyone who wants to donate something to any of us must do that through her and she puts it on camera people to take it and she puts it on the internet as if she is the one who personally donated those things.