- My uncle destroyed my two hands – Adebisi
- Packing Lagosians’ faeces, horrible – Musa
There is dignity in being employed no matter the physical or other challenges an individual faces. This saying best explains the reason Lagos State parades proud disabled pedestrian bridge sweepers across its local government areas.
Though the disabled sweepers earn income, however little, and go about their duties with enviable commitment, their daily activities are not without pains and regrets as highlighted by some of them, who spoke to The Point.
I PACK LAGOSIANS’ FAECES –MUSA
The Chairman, Disabled Lagos Waste Management Authority Association, Mr. Mufutau Musa, said, “Before I started sweeping Alapere Welcome to the world of disabled bridge sweepers Estate 10 years ago, and now, CMS pedestrian bridges after the death of the original sweeper last two weeks, I used to beg for alms at Maryland. But I thought that if an oncoming vehicle hit me, I might lose my life. But then, I noticed that pedestrians used the Alapere Bridge regularly so I decided to start sweeping it.
“It was possible through the intervention of a good citizen and the former LAWMA boss, Mr. Ola Oresanya, who has been sponsoring my child’s education.”
But he noted that some very dirty Lagosians could make the job almost unbearable. He said, “I live far away in Ikorodu, an outskirt of Lagos (although it is my small house), yet, I come here every day. But some Lagosians are very repulsive; some will even bring their wastes from their homes and drop them on the bridge. Sometimes, I meet faeces here but I have to clean the place.
“The N10,000 they pay us is not sufficient, but we usually lodge our complaints to the Governor during the end of the year party because we all have our families. We are pleading with the present administration that they should increase our salary. We appreciate the fact that we are being paid stipends but we need more. Some passersby have been here to make promises, which they don’t return to fulfill.”
I’M ALSO A PARA-SOCCER TRAINEE – GARUBA
Mr. Garuba Lawal, who sweeps both Ikeja Along and Barracks bridges along Costain, is a para-soccer trainee at the National Stadium. But he sweeps the bridge twice in a week – Tuesday and Thursday.
“It has not been easy combining both but I have to do them because I derive pleasure and fulfillment in what I’m doing. More so, I have to do this job because I have to fend for my family and I don’t like being idle. Although the government is doing their best with the salary they are paying us, we want more from them.”
My uncle made me lose my two hands -Adebisi
Mr. Kunle Adebisi told The Point that he had been sweeping the Anthony Bridge for more than 12 years after suffering many rejections from different companies where he had applied for jobs.
He narrated how he lost his two hands at a very tender age with the help of his uncle who tied him up with a rope for three days because he sneaked out to play football and refused to come home.