Foundation flays discrimination against Albinos
Reacting to the recent suicide case involving an Albino in Lagos, the Foundation said the incident was caused by frustration induced by discrimination and stigma.
While calling for investigation surrounding the death of the Albino, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Albino Foundation, Jake Epelle, blamed the sad incidence on the failure of the National Assembly to pass the bill on anti-discrimination of Albinos.
He argued that, the bill would have provided the roadmap for the implemenation of the national policy on albinism, which protects the rights of Albinos.
Ekpelle said: “on Sunday precisely, an Albino took his own life, we feel strongly that this shouldn’t be the case as we strongly condemn that act, unfortunately we also know that the reason behind that act is discrimination and stigmatization which am sure he left a note to say that it was the reason why he took his own life. As a foundation we are digging into the matter getting the police involved and the family, we also know that there are some element of cultism. Investigations are been carried out, having all sorts of meetings with the police to make sure we get to the root of the matter.
“We are appealing to the president to please speak on this, as the number one citizen of the country what he says carry weight, we want to see the presidency issuing a statement condemning this act, also to the government of Lagos state, we want him to give his own reaction concerning this matter. This is a time and clarion call to the government to set up an enquiry, find out exactly what happened so other albinos will not follow suits, this is not a good example.”
According to him, Albinos should not be left alone as its leads to loneliness, which causes depression and further leads to taking his or her life, he further advised that all albinos should not brace up to this act as it is highly forbidden.
He said that the foundation is out to carry out advocacy, awareness and educate all albinos on how to manage the stigma and help them overcome depression.
“As an Albino please don’t tell people to leave you alone, it is this loneliness that causes depression, that breaks your expectation and eventually breaks your will and the next thing is to take your life, as we are doing our best to reach all concerns to educate them, empower them with information about who they are, to help them come out of the stigma and discrimination.
“I was stigmatized, discriminated against at home, in school, at the office, in church and have seen it happen in mosque, so it is something that is wild spread and the fact that anybody discriminates you doesn’t give you the permission to take your life that is why we strongly condemn it. My advise is that albinos should not follow this bad example as there isn’t any need to take your own life, don’t get so frustrated to decide to take your life it is not the way out,” he stated.
He said that the national policy on albinism should be implemented as it stipulates all the challenges been faced by albinos, appealing to the government and other concerned bodies to join forces with the foundation so that the policy will be passed into law.
“We are the first albinism group globally to do a national policy on albinism. The national policy on albinism stipulate the challenges, what should be done and what shouldn’t be done. The process of enacting a bill at the national assembly have started but unfortunately it has not been passed,” Ekpelle said.