As Nigeria joins the world to mark the 2021 Children’s Day on May 27, a philanthropist, Dr Gbolabo Oni has advocated proper focus on children with special needs in the country.
Oni made the call while presenting gift items to the students of Ijesha School of Special Needs, Ilesa, where he said the government ought to collaborate with nongovernmental organizations and philanthropists to aggressively enlighten families and individuals across the country on the need to accept and cater for children with special needs.
The politician and political analyst who had earlier hired nurses for students with special needs to cater for them said he did the little he could with the support of some of his friends.
Apart from the nurses he hired for the students, Dr Oni also distributed school uniforms, instructional materials, beds, cash among other gifts to the students.
He also repaired the school windows. He donated boreholes and pumping machines, just as he built toilets and bathrooms, among other projects he carried out in the school.
He explained that there was the need for all well meaning Nigerians to support the children with special needs so as to make life better for them.
He said: “I have been involved in sensitization on accepting children with special needs, and will step it up to cover more areas.
“I want enjoin all classes of people including those at the grassroots on the conditions of children in order to demystify the concept of special needs.
“ I am advocating for policy change in the areas of health care, education and others. I believe children and young people living with autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, visual impairment, epilepsy, dyslexia, and others. I believe they should be accepted, cared for, educated and not stigmatized, he said.