Abuja bomb blast victims on Wednesday carried out a peaceful protest at the National Assembly to urge the Federal Government to fulfill its promises to them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that government had promised to foot the medical bills of the blasts which killed more than 100 people in Abuja.
The victims, who converged on the premises of the National Assembly, carried placards with different inscriptions expressing their anger, some of which read:
“It has been 10 months and nothing has been done for us; most of us still have medical challenges’’ and We are dying slowly, we need government support.’’
Some of the victims that they could not do follow up treatments in the hospitals.
The Coordinator of the group, Arthur Vav, told NAN that they wanted the Federal Government to reopen their medical files in the hospitals for follow-up treatments.
Vav said most of the victims had undergone series of surgical operations, while some still had sharp objects lodged in their bodies that needed to be removed but could not afford the cost of treatment.
“The last bomb blast was June 25 which would be one year next month, while Nyanya already was one year April 14, since then we have been paying most of our medical bills. The government paid some bills for us but I strongly believe there are supposed to be a follow-ups after you have been discharged from the hospital. This is because when you get back to your house, you find out some sharp objects in the body and you discover you still need some medical treatment,’’ he said.
Vav said the group had written to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), the President of the Senate and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation but received no response.
He said the peaceful demonstration was to express their grievances.
“We have been neglected by the government because for one year now nothing has been done,’’ he said.
Thomas Aduche, another member of the group, said they were left to fate without any support from the government.
Aduche said he paid for the last operation carried out on his neck and pleaded with the government to empower them as most of them had lost their jobs.
Two women who lost their husbands, Favour Ndubisi and Sarah Andy called on government to empower them to enable them to take care of their children.
“I am a qualified teacher but due to the lack of job I teach in private school where the salary is very small; if government will employ me, I will be happy,’’ Ndubisi said.
Victor Dike, representing the Sergeant-At-Arms for the Senate, who addressed the group promised to look into their case. Dike told NAN that the group wrote a letter to the Senate last two weeks and did not follow up to know the outcome.
“I promise to look for the solution to their problem through the letter they submitted and once we get the letter I will tell them the action they have taken on the letter and that is the normal procedure. They just submitted their letter two or three weeks ago and have not followed up the letter only to come for demonstration, it is not okay,’’ he said.