President of the Gerontology Association of Nigeria, (GERAN), Doctor Emem Omokaro and her members are heartbroken after listening to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day message to the nation which was silent on issues affecting the older persons.
In a swift reaction to President Buhari’s speech, the GERAN through Doctor Emem Omokaro, who is also the Executive Director of the Dave Omokaro Foundation said, “No mention of older persons. My heart is broken. No! It is unacceptable. We must find His Excellency and let him know, he has left us behind. Please he has to hear us!”
Omokara analysed: “In his speech, the President continued carefully and deliberately to mention all vulnerable demographics and announced his government ‘s determination to focus policy and development programs on them; Children, Youth, Women,
Persons with disabilities and displaced persons.
“I took time to download
and study the President’s Democracy Day speech – a score card of his administration and also a road map. I zeroed on population and Social Development issues. The speech is very relatable and the accounting with numbers convincing.
“The government, given the recession and now the oil glut and pandemic, could take credit for trying to stabilize the economy. However, one painful sore thumb stood glaringly to me- unforgivable;The President’s grave silence on older persons in spite of the disproportionate negative effects of Covid-19 on this demographics in this times.
“The Social Investment Programme of the administration was well reported; and pillar programmes were listed. Of course, nothing with focus on older persons. Youth – 549,500 N-Power beneficiaries, 408,682. Beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme-SMES-Youth/working population and 2,238,334 beneficiaries of the Growth Enhancement and Empowerment Programme. – Poor Households, “Marketmoni” and “Tradermoni” Programmes; – affordable loans to small and micro scale enterprises to grow their businesses. National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, over 9,963,729 children”.