NGO seeks consideration for persons with disabilities in Akwa Ibom
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), has appealed to Akwa Ibom State government to consider persons with disabilities in the distribution of palliatives during the lockdown in the state.
In a statement by its Executive Director, Mr. David Anyaele, and made available to newsmen in Uyo yesterday, the CCD said that the 14 days lockdown would affect persons with disabilities more than other persons and urged the governor to take steps to ensure safety and protection of persons with disabilities in accordance with the Nigeria Disabilities Law.
Anyaele said that the appeal became necessary, as government was yet to sign the State Disability Law.
“This is to appeal to Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, not to leave Akwa Ibom persons with disabilities behind in the distribution of relief materials and palliatives to all villages in Akwa Ibom State.
“It is obvious that persons with disabilities are the worst affected as a result of the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic. We urge the governor to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and protection of persons with disabilities as clearly stated in Section 25 of the Nigeria Disability Law.
“As the state government plans to send palliatives to all villages in Akwa Ibom to assist residents during lockdown in the state, we urge the government to ensure that persons with disabilities are given priority in the distribution of these relief materials,” he said.
He also urged the state government to, as a matter of urgency, consult organisations of persons with disabilities in the state for support in the area of sign language interpretation, adding that there was need for the establishment of disability desk officers to enhance communication on Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The CCD director-general said that the NGO would be monitoring the extent of access and inclusion of Akwa Ibom persons with disabilities in the distribution of these relief materials, adding: “It is our interest to document and disseminate findings to local and international organisations working on democratic governance, international development co-operation, human rights and disability issues with the view of attracting policy attention to the neglected issue of the rights of persons with disabilities.”