Taraba community laments neglect by past govts, seeks inclusion in Kefas’ administration
Members of Taraba State chapter of the Joint Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) have expressed disappointment over alleged neglect by past governments in the state.
They, therefore, called on current state governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas, to look into their plight and make life meaningful. The members alleged that the last administration treated them like persons with leprosy, denying them benefits, such as representation in cabinet and other political appointments.
They said during the COVID-19 pandemic, they were also denied access to palliatives offered by government to cushion hardship. State chairman of the association, Saiq Mohammed, said: “We want a commission and the executive chairman of the commission must be our member, not someone else.
“Apart from the disability commission, we are demanding that our members be appointed as commissioners and special advisers, because no other group of persons can represent us in government better.”
Mohammed claimed the association has qualified members “who have Master’s degree, Bachelor’s degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) in different fields.”
Also, secretary of the association, Aliyu Mohammed, expressed sadness that only eight out of over 22,000 Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the state were absorbed in the state civil service, describing the situation as “unfair.”
Commenting on efforts being put in place to ensure PWDs are carried along, the state chairman of Coalition of Civil Societies in Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Gimba, said a draft of a disability bill has been forwarded to relevant quarters.
The bill, which he said is at the verge of being passed to the State House of Assembly, will give members of the association the powers they deserve.
Meanwhile, a source close to the government confided in The Guardian, saying: “Though, our governor has not yet formed his cabinet, from his body language, there are high expectations that the disabled community will not be left behind by the administration.”
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