By John Akinfehinwa
People With Disabilities (PWDs) have cried out over discrimination in employment for Ministries Department and Agencies in Kogi State.
Kogi State Chairman of PWDs, Comrade Ibrahim Arome, who disclosed this on Friday against the backdrop of the 2021 World Disability Day lamented that many of his members have been denied employment opportunities even when they have the capacity to deliver.
Arome, who noted that there is ability in disability, called on the Kogi State Government to implement the disability rights law to address some of these challenges affecting his people.
He added that there is a need for the government to establish the disability commission to enable PWDs to have a sense of belonging in the state.
Arome explained further that PWDs lack mobility in the state stressing that the special schools across the state have been abandoned by the government thereby making education difficult for their members as the existing public schools in Kogi State are not accessible.
“We use this year’s celebration to appeal to the executive Governor Alh. Yahaya Bello kindly implement the disability right law and establish a disability commission in Kogi state. Governor Yahaya Bello should kindly provide PWD’s with mobility (Bus) because to our special being, mobility is not for fashion but a necessity.
“We are also appealing that the Government should ensure that all the MDAs in Kogi state obeys and adheres to the disability Act 2018 and reserve at least 5% of every employment, empowerment and appointment for PWDs,” he said.
“The Kogi state Governor kindly gives immediate order through the appropriate quotas for the renovation of special skills schools across the state and equip them with the learning special materials and manpower to help reduce the risk of our special members traveling to other states to acquire education”.
In his lecture titled “Bringing out the abilities in persons with disability”, the Chairman, Southwest Nigeria Association of the Deaf, Mr. Sulaiman Akinremi, said more than 500 million people in the world are disabled as a consequence of mental, physical, or sensory impairment.
Akinremi said, “In the majority of these countries, it is estimated that 1 in 10 persons has a physical, mental or sensory impairment and at least 25% of the entire population is adversely affected by the presence of disabilities.
“It is also estimated that at least 75% percent of these people live in developing countries and living in areas where they do not receive the services needed to enable them to overcome their limitations. Disabled people in the developing world often face more acute barriers than those in developed nations mostly those living in Isolated rural areas in the developing world. In some countries 20% of the population are disabled.
“It can be estimated that, when disabled people’s relatives are included, 50% of the population is affected by disability. In addition, disabled people are the poorest of the poor. They often do not have access to adequate medical services and where such services exist, the medical personnel lacks the experience of their needs”.
He noted that any country or society that is on the path to greatness will need to take a pragmatic shift in its orientation about persons with disabilities and it will greatly influence whether persons with disabilities become assets or liabilities.
“PWDs faced a lot of challenges but they are not limited by their disabilities except those placed in their ways by government and society. Though people may doubt the capacity of PWDs to prove their abilities, they have often proved them wrong. They are able to take negativities and turn them into motivation and drive with their different abilities.
“The world is witnessing a rapid transformation in thoughts, concepts, and behaviours aimed at bringing about development. Government and society cannot afford to be left behind by clinging to outdated ideas or concepts inhibiting transformation by undervaluing the particularly important and leading roles PWDs have to play,” he added.
Earlier in her address, the Kogi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba said the present administration has continued to give priority to PWDs in the state stressing that over 2000 People With Disabilities benefited from the N10,000 COVID-19 palliative in 2021.
Represented by the Ministry Permanent Secretary, Mr. Aleni Emmanuel Allenclay, the Commissioner said, “Persons with disabilities are a very important segment of our population that requires special treatment.
“The Administration of new direction agenda under the leadership of His Excellency the Governor of Kogi State Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello is working assiduously towards giving a new liaise of life to PWDs in the area of education, health care, empowerment, and legal support system as well as main streams them into the State Development Plan”.
DAILY POST reports that, on September 23rd, 2013, the UN General Assembly convened the historic high-level meeting on disability and development aimed at creating a fully disabled agenda inclusive society.
The 2021 World Disability Day has the theme “Leadership and Participation of PWDs towards an inclusive accessible and sustainable post-covid-19 world”.
DAILY POST also reports that the World Disability Day in Kogi State which was organized by, the leprosy mission Nigeria, Sightsavers, had in attendance, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prod James Apam, Kogi State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,(NSCDC), and the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State.
The day is celebrated on December 3rd every year.