Posted by News Express | 21 August 2015 | 4,300 times
The Albino Foundation on Thursday urged the Federal Government to launch an investigation into the cause of death of Mr. Ugochukwu Ekwe, a 23-year-old albino.
The Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Mr. Jake Epelle who made the appeal at a press briefing in Abuja, also sought the Lagos State Government’s intervention in the matter.
Epelle said that Ekwe, an albino who resided in Festac Lagos, was found hanging on the ceiling fan by family members on August 16.
“This shows that Ekwe took his life; we do not know who or what may have led him to commit such an act. We need answers.
“We demand an autopsy in order to ascertain the cause of the death.”
Epelle critisised the increasing level of discrimination albinos experienced in their immediate environment such as the work place and school, amongst others.
According to him, such discrimination impacts negatively on those affected; some of them experience psychological trauma due to rejection from family and friends.
“Albinos are being attacked and killed in various part of the country like Delta and Edo states with various forms of ritual carried out using their body parts.
“There is a need for the Federal Government to set up an enquiry and investigate this matter so that we can curtail any future occurrence.
“The government should take proactive measures in tackling this.”
He, however, noted that the organisation found elements of a dysfunctional family after carrying out preliminary investigation into the deceased family.
“Some people who are born albinos are most often unable to cope with the condition but this does not warrant stigmatisation from family members and the public.
“The foundation does not endorse that act; on the part of deceased, he has taken his life but the society is largely responsible for this.”
Epelle also advised government to be more sensitive towards the plight of albinism in the country, calling for dialogue in order to find lasting solution to the problem.
He also called for more public understanding and acceptance of persons living with the condition by showing love and care.
The official said intermarriage between those living with the condition and others should be encouraged. (NAN)
•Photo shows Jake Epelle.
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