Persons living with disabilities under the auspices of Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD), have pointed out that the delay in the passage of Disability Act in the state by government frustrates their welfare and existence, hence they appealed to government to fully domesticate the Disability Law for the general interest of the citizens of the state.
Notably, the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act was passed into Law by the National Assembly in 2018 with 19 states including Abia and Anambra implementing the Law effectively to the advantage of the Special Citizens, the vulnerable and those who may be disabled in the future.
Speaking to journalists in Owerri during on Wednesday, the Executive Director of The Qualitative Magazine, Mr. Agbo Christian, said if the Law is firmly implemented in Imo State “it will facilitate the mitigation of all forms of stigmatization, discrimination and inhuman practices meted out to persons with disabilities”.
Agbo noted that the Law will also “ensure access to education, employment, health, transportation and economic opportunities that will enable persons with disabilities live productive and independent lives. It will mitigate gender based violence that persons with disabilities face, especially women and girls with disabilities, provides enablement for the participation of persons with disabilities in political and electioneering processes”.
While regretting that Imo State is among states that are yet to domesticate the Disability Law, Agbo called on Governor Hope Uzodimma and Members of Imo State House of Assembly to initiate the process for the speedy passage of the Disability Law in the state in the interest of the people.
Adding his voice, the state Chairman of JONAPWD, Dr. Stanley Nwachukwu, disclosed that the full implementation of the Disability Law in Imo State would make disabled persons and the vulnerable have more sense of belonging in the affairs of the state to enable them calve a niche for themselves and their families.
Harping on the theme of the meeting “A Call for the Domestication of Disability Law in Imo State”, President, Association of Physically Challenged, Youth Empowerment, Imo State, Comr. Ken Ugwuegbu, Secretary-General and Vice Chairman, JONAPWD, Nwaocha Emeka Rex, Amaechi Clinton Chinonye and Chairman, Albinism Association of Nigeria, Imo State, Pastor Ibegbulam Victor, urged government to stop shying away from meeting the needs of the vulnerable and disabled persons to make the society liveable and comfortable for all law abiding persons.
The group who demanded for a school for the blind in the state, appreciated the state government for showing concern in their affairs and plight.