This evening, when i was surfing Facebook, one of Richard Ezekiel's posts about Nigerian Security operatives caught my attention, it reminded me of my experience when i was in Lagos. I was passing through one area and had an encounter with soldiers, they were talking to me (i had no idea of what they were talking about), i just told them that i couldn’t hear and that i am Deaf, before i knew it i received one slap from one of the soldiers and he kept talking to me to the point of wanting to beat me up but luckily a big Uncle passed through the same area and came to my recuse. Since then i made up my mind not to speak whenever i encounter them at any point in my life and i think that decision has really helped a lot.
However that is not the scenario i am trying to play out, this experience has been more than 10 years ago and In present time i expect things should have changed but i am wrong because we can see how the Nigerian security operatives treated Richard Ezekiel and i know a lot more deaf people have fallen prey for this same situation.
I really need to explain again that we have people who are born deaf, who became deaf at a tender age and who became deaf at a later age of which some have acquired speech which they use to speak but they still remain Deaf and cannot hear or respond when it’s dark, there is a clear need for Nigerian security operatives to understand how to communicate with members of the deaf community. It’s high time the Security operatives should be trained in Sign language and they should be educated about Deaf people so Deaf members would not be victims again in their hands.
The Nigerian Disability Bill would need to make clear that Nigerian security operatives must take appropriate steps to communicate effectively with deaf people.