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23.10.2004 NPP News

Blind Unemployed to Vote Against NPP , If ...

By Ghanaian Chronicle

The Association of the Blind Unemployed has given notice that its members would vote against the New Patriotic Party (NPP) if nothing is done to solve their problems especially, their unemployed status.

Mr. Maxwell Agyiri William, the chairman said in an interview with The Chronicle in Accra that the NPP promised them heaven when it was in opposition but the government had fulfilled none of the promises although they voted massively for the party.

He said the association had held several meetings with government officials including Mr. Kwabena Bartels and Mr. Kwabena Agyapong about their plight but nothing fruitful came out of them.

Mr. Williams said that the NPP manifesto, which would be launched this Saturday, did not contain a single item on the blind, saying that it was unfortunate for the ruling party to deny them their right.

He said he was surprised to hear that a huge sum had been channeled to people living with HIV/AIDS rather than to the blind and physically challenged people.

Mr. Williams said the blind unemployed had been registered twice by the government but nothing had come out of it. Instead, the police harassed them on the streets to the extent of arresting them.

He recalled that it was only in the Nkrumah and the Acheampong regimes that the blind enjoyed free public transportation but since the AFRC, PNDC, NDC and NPP regimes, they had been denied this privilege.

He said with the establishment of the School for the Blind, it was the responsibility of the government to offer the students employment after completion, but this arrangement had ceased.

Mr. Williams appealed to the President to get them musical instruments to form a band as most of them were trained as musicians, adding that most of the members were prepared to learn other trades and work for their daily bread if helped.

There are about 1.5 million physically challenged people in the country who can be a force to reckon with in this year's elections.

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