Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Initiative for Eradication of Poverty and Empowerment of the Disabled (IFEPED) and other stakeholders yesterday called on Enugu State government to domesticate the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act in the state.
The Disability Law had been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari since 2018.
But at yesterday’s IFEPED’s presentation of Communique and proposed Enugu State Disability Law held at the NUJ Press Centre, Enugu, stakeholders commended Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the state being the first to implement the Child Rights Act in the country and urged him to see the need to act on the Disability Law.
In the 14-point communiqué reached at the end of a one day workshop tagged, “Breaking the Barriers in the life of People Living with Disabilities,” IFEPED said, “Finally, we call for urgent need for domestication of the Disability Law in Enugu State.”
The body also called on organizations and individuals to mount pressure on the Enugu State House of Assembly to emulate other states and domesticate the law without delay.
As part of its demands, the body urged the state government to in addition offer automatic employment to suitably qualified persons living with disabilities as well as offer them free medical services in health institutions.
Chairman of the occasion and Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Enugu State, Rev. Emmanuel Ede, who read the communiqué expressed optimism that Gov. Ugwuanyi would do the needful as it concerns the law.
He said, “Today we presented a communiqué that was prepared by the people living with disabilities in Enugu state and what they are seeking to achieve is the domestication of the law because both the United Nations and Federal Republic of Nigeria have done something great and it is their desire that the Governor of Enugu state, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who had also ensured that the Child Rights Act was passed into law will also give full and adequate attention to this by ensuring that the State House of Assembly does the same thing that is expected, that this Disability Law is domesticated in Enugu state.
“You may wish to know that it’s been so dear in the heart of everybody that Enugu State should take the lead. I want to say that His Excellency I know, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Governor of Enugu state has more than the political will to put this at the right place it suppose to be by ensuring that it is passed into law. I know him as a man with a humane heart. After all, this is all about helping people who cannot help themselves and he is always passionate about doing things that will touch lives of the less privileged ones.
“So I strongly believe that when it gets to his desk, he will ensure that action is expedited and the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly who also shows concern for the less privileged will also help the passage of this law in a record time.”