By Chris Chikelue/Chidimma Ajemba

Awka, Dec. 4, 2020 (MOI) Special Adviser to Anambra State Governor on Disability Matters, Mr Chuka Ezewuzie has announced Anambra Government has approved an establishment of a committee for the implementation of the Disability Rights Law.

The committee will see to the implementation of the Anambra Disability Right Law (ASDRL), which was signed into law by Gov. Willie Obiano on Dec. 18, 2018.

Mr Ezewuzie said this while addressing newsmen at a news conference organised by the Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPWD), Anambra State Chapter in commemoration of 2020 International Day for Persons with Disability.

The event was held at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka.

“Anambra State is the Light of the Nation, and we are demonstrating this light by making provisions for persons with disability.’’

Mr Ezewuzie said that the disability community in the state had in 2018 approached the governor and pleaded with him to accent to the Disability Right Bill as passed by the Anambra State House of Assembly on Sept. 13, 2018.

“On the 18th of December, the governor gave the community that Christmas gift of signing the Disability Right Bill into law.

“Anambra is the only state in the South East to have a law that protects persons with disability, which was before the Federal Government accented to the Federal Act that is now known as the Law Against discrimination of Disable Persons on the 23rd of January, 2019.

“Anambra State as the light of the nation had a role in the accenting of that Federal act because on the 21st of January, 2019, Gov. Obiano allowed his Special Adviser on Disability Matters to call on the President to sign the Federal Disability Right Act.

“Two days after that call, the President signed into law the Act, which will be protecting people with disability from discriminations.

“Today, we join the rest of the World to remember persons with disabilities.’’

Chairman of JONAPWD, Mr Ugochukwu Okeke, who spoke on the topic: “Imperatives of the Establishment of The Disability Right Law’’ said that implementation of the law would improve the living conditions of persons with disabilities.

“I plead with the State Government, having been the first government to create such a law to protect persons with disabilities; to set up without delay the committee for implementation of Disability Rights Law.

“This will enable persons with disabilities in the state to begin to harvest all provisions of the law.’’

Chairman, Nigeria Association of Deaf Persons, Mr Amobi Nwangwu in his speech entitled: “Disability Persons and Access to Justice’’, said that the disable community lack facilities to seek redress in the courts.

“There should be the availability of interpreters of sign language at Police Stations and the Court Rooms, so as to help our members to lodge complaints on any form of abuse.

“We want full employment in the public and private sectors of the country.

“We can perform optimally, if employed in the Anambra State Traffic Management Authority (ATMA) and at the Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA) Brigade.

“Parents should not be shy and embarrassed, if they have children with disabilities.’’

A member of the disable community and an Information Officer, Miss Chidimma Ajemba told the gathering to weigh words carefully before addressing or writing about people living with disabilities.

“Do not ask questions about what has led to our deformities and do not pity us without our telling you or asking to be helped; we are embarrassed when we are unduly accosted.

“Speak to our caregivers instead when you want to make such enquiries and treat us like normal human beings anytime you meet us and anytime you are writing about us in the media.’’ “There are abilities in their disabilities,’’ she quipped. (MOI)

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