Executive Director of the Ghana Blind Union, Dr Peter Obeng, has condemned Africa World Airlines (AWA) for preventing Rita Kriba, a person with disability (PWD), from boarding one of their flights from Accra to Kumasi.
“What has happened is disgraceful and repulsive and a violation of what we stand for in Ghana” Dr Obeng explained.
He told Moro Awudu on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Monday 7 May 2018 that: “Africa World has this reputation and must be made to stop it and face the law [because] the laws are against all that. I don’t know who gave them the audacity to do such things [and] it is very wrong”.
Ms Kriba, who was prevented from boarding the flight, has vowed to take on the management of the airline for their discriminatory policy.
Ms Kriba who walks with the aid of crutches was prevented from boarding the flight due to her condition.
The incident which happened at the Kotoka International Airport on Saturday, 5 May 2018 saw the lady missing her flight as staff of the airline said the company’s policy does not accommodate persons who cannot board their planes unaided.
Speaking to Class News, Ms Kriba said she is ready to fight the company to end the injustice meted out to persons with disability.
She said: “I felt bad because I was supposed to go to Kumasi and meet some people for a meeting. What if it was an emergency? Because I’m a person with disability, can’t I board a plane? I’m ready to take them to court because it’s against my fundamental human rights.
“I’m in Ghana, I’m in my own country, I have the right to move from wherever I want to move from…Whatever I need to do to get that right thing done I’ll do it because it’s my human right. I’m a citizen of Ghana and I need to enjoy any other privilege like any other person despite my disability.
“I’ll go to every length to get this thing solved because I don’t want it to happen to the next person with crutches, I don’t want it to happen again to a person with disability. It is time we stopped these things, we are all human beings. I have the right to pick a flight to wherever I want to go.”
Dr Obeng, who was not enthused about the development, accused AWA of engaging in such discriminatory acts frequently.
He cited an example which he said occurred last year when a person in a wheel chair “was treated in such a bad way as well” by the same company.
He emphasised the need for institutions to factor disabled people in their activities and urged the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) to take the issue up to ensure that Ms Kriba gets justice.