Season 3 Road Trip – Episode 8: Disabled Peoples Rights
Main Story: Right Leg Amputee
For Emanuel Onyeka, his dream of completing his studies has been dashed. A tragic Okada accident in 2015 has left him an amputee.
Emmanuel is the second child and only son of Mr and Mrs Onyeka. On his way to school one day to write his exams he was involved in a motorcycle accident. He was so severely injured that everyone thought he would die. Luckily he pulled through but his right leg had to be amputated above his knee because of the severity of the injury to this leg.
Despite the set backs he experienced as a result of this accident, Emmanuel persevered and managed to complete his high school exams and passed. His dream is to go to university but he has no means of paying for his university fees.
His mum works as a petty food trader and his dad rides motorcycles delivering parcels. Both parents are struggling to settle his hospital expenses, and cannot afford to send him to university.
Emmanuel feels like he is a burden to his family, while his mum and dad work, to cover his expenses. He is unable to do anything because he does not have a leg. He is hopeful that he will get a prosthesis to help him become more mobile which will enable Emmanuel to contribute to the family’s welfare.
Emmanuel doesn’t want to burden his family with his disability and is looking for a way to accomplish his dreams.
Revisit: No Hands David Anyaele (Season 2)
In season 2 we met David Anyaele. In the 10 months since he appeared on Airtel Touching Lives, his Centre for Citizens with Disabilities has gone from strength to strength.
The Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a rebel group in Sierra Leone, amputated David Anyaele hands in January 1999 during one of his business trips to Freetown, Serra Leone. The RUF rampage on non-Serra Leone indigenes, especially Nigerians was because of ECOMOG occupation, a peace keeping Nigeria Military group.
After the refusal of ECOMOG to leave RUF territory and for the Nigerian Government to take them seriously, they began capturing Nigerians and amputating them. Any Nigerian who resisted amputation was shot to death.
David battled with the practicalities of having no hands and the loss of self-esteem and financial stability. He battled psychological trauma resulting from confusion amongst family members, stigmatization, marginalization and discrimination from the society because of his disability.
David then set up the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities to help people in a similar situation to himself, working tirelessly to help others. He is married with 3 children aged 10, 7 & 3. They live in a rented apartment and are struggling to survive.