He Went Blind During NYSC. Then He Refused To Stay In The Dark.
In 2011, Daniel Adeigba was observing the National Youth Service Corps in Yobe State after graduating from Kogi State University (KSU) with a degree in History and International Relations.
It was an election year and Adeigba, along with thousands of other corp members enrolled to participate as an Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC) ad-hoc official.
However, tragedy struck while he was on election duty as their (a group of corp members) bus was waylaid by suspected insurgents, leading to an accident that claimed his sight.
Nigeria has battled violent insurgency since 2009, especially in the country’s north-east region where Yobe is situated.
“We were sighted and chased from Potiskum to Damaturu,” Adeigba told Channels Television. “That was when the driver lost control and ran into a ditch.”
According to Adeigba, the vehicle somersaulted and killed almost all the people in it.
“The impact on me was a head injury,” he said. “I was rushed to Gen. Sani Abacha Hospital; they thought I was dead, but later they discovered I still had life. I was then taken to the University of Maiduguri where I was resuscitated after three days.
“I was there for several months. If I had been attended to on time, I would probably have survived with one of the eyes. And that one that should have survived is the one I have hope that can be restored through surgery.
“The head injury affected my brain and, in my brain, it affected my two optical nerves which has made me blind. In our local hospitals, they’ve told me there’s nothing they can do. But on further investigation, I found a hospital in the UK who said they can actually do something about the sight.”
Now, Adeigba needs about 15 million naira for the UK corrective surgery.
Not Staying In The Dark
After the accident, life became “unbearable” for Adeigba.
But in 2016, INEC offered him a job.
“INEC and NYSC have done their part by giving me a job which I quite appreciate a lot because life was becoming unbearable,” he said.
He also decided to start advocating for the disabled as a radio on-air-personality in Ekiti State, arguing that they have more to offer to society.
He approached the Management of Voice 88.9 FM in Ado-Ekiti with his idea and they approved a weekly programme at no cost
“When I was with my sight, I never saw people living with disability as somebody,” Adeigba said.
“Now that I am there, I am trying to use my mess as a message to correct the wrongs – some of those disabled are privileged to have what able-bodied do not have.
“Some of them, in their various clusters – the cripple, the dumb, the deaf, the albinos, the blind – have fantastic people who are making waves in the world today; if only they can be privileged, given opportunity. It is a stereotype that these people are valueless.”
“His programme MOMENT WITH MOJET (one of Adeigba’s names is Mojetoluwa) helped me a lot,” Olamilekan Orelope, who is blind, told Channels Television.
“Through Daniel’s programme, my admission funding plight at the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti was brought to the fore and as I’m talking to you, somebody has taken up the payment of my acceptance fee.
“Daniel Adeigba wants other physically challenged people to make it like him because he’s a graduate.”
“From the first day I saw, he struck me as somebody with passion,” Chairman of Persons Living With Albinism in Ekiti State, Ola Alufa, also told Channels Television. “He has done a lot to help us due to his level of exposure.”
Another person living with disability and upcoming artiste, Nurudeen Adeyemi, told Channels Television that Adeigba had helped to give his career a significant lift.
“I met the man when I went for a song performance one day,” he said. “He told me he would like to invite me to his programme on radio. My song was played on the programme and a man called that he loved my song and would like to assist me financially, which he did.”
A Lifelong Commitment
Adeigba is determined to continue to use his radio programme to speak up for disabled persons.
“If I can achieve what I have now with my blindness – I am married, I’ve acquired radio programme production certificates – then I can do anything.
“And this is why I want to encourage disabled persons, to make sure their voice is heard and integrated to be part of the decision-makers.”
But what if he eventually gets enough money to travel to the United Kingdom and receive sight again? Will his stray from his gospel?
“Till I answer the heavenly call,” he said, “I will continue making advocacy for persons living with disabilities.”
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