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Federal Government inaugurates parliament for PWDs

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• Urged to establish commission for them
• Oyetola opens braille press centre

In celebration of the International Day of Persons With Disabilities (PWD) yesterday, the Federal Government has inaugurated Parliament of PWDs in Abuja.

Following an election of principal officers, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, inaugurated a 12-member People’s Parliament for PWDs.

This is to awaken the consciousness of the country, as with the United Nations’ agenda on member-countries, towards encouraging and promoting activities that will bring issues of disability to the front burner of national and international discourse.

The minister identified disability as a right, a development issue and a cross-cutting phenomenon, which as evidenced in its prioritisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 16.

Senator Osita Izunaso, whose non-governmental organisation (NGO) had reportedly supported PWDs and the less-privileged for about 15 years, called on Nigerians to adopt at least one PWD for support and encouragement.

He said that he had adopted 300 PWDs who he preferred as Persons with Special Needs.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has lamented that 11 months after President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed the law on discrimination against PWDs, only a few states have implemented it.

The executive director, David Anyaele, however, urged the president to direct states to implement the act, saying that physically-challenged persons in the country were citizens and entitled to the provisions of socio-economic facilities provided by the government.

His words, “We are concerned that 11 months after the passage of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to establish the National Commission on Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD).

“We are concerned that only Kano, Jigawa, Anambra, Kogi, Ondo, Lagos, Ekiti, Plateau, Kwara, and Bauchi states have passed disability law, a legal framework that protects citizens with disabilities from exclusion and discrimination on the grounds of disabilities.”

In the same vein, Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola yesterday inaugurated four socially-inclusive micro-projects including braille press centre and hostel to celebrate persons with special needs.

This is as he reiterated his administration’s commitment to building a state where there would be equal opportunities for all citizens regardless of their status.

Oyetola maintained that his administration had demonstrated great commitment to the welfare and education of the physically-challenged persons in the same way it has done for their able-bodied counterparts.

The governor spoke at the School for the Physically Challenged in Osogbo where he inaugurated the micro-projects, including braille press centre for the blind, hostel for girls with disabilities, fencing of the school of children with special needs and tricycles for the physically challenged group.


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