Gyang Bere, Jos
The National Secretary of Amputees Coalition of Nigeria (ACON), Gorge Dominic Anwayi, says the Federal Government has not fully implemented the Disability Rights Law signed recently by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He acknowledged government appointments of few people with disability by President Muhammadu Buhari, but said that thousands of disabled people are dieing in silence due to a lack of mobility, physical accessibility and stigmatisation in employment.
Anwayi disclosed this yesterday during a one day amputees conference organised by the Amputees Coalition of Nigeria in collaboration with the Dynamic Orthotics and Prosthetic Nig. Ltd, held in Jos, Plateau State.
He lamented that most amputees in the country are left to suffer their fate, as he called on President Buhari to ensure that the disability rights law is fully implemented to ensure inclusiveness for all physically challenged persons in the country.
“We are all aware of the disability rights law that was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, but it is not just the signing of the bill into law that matters but implementing the law to the fullest. Up to now we are having issues and challenges despite the fact that the law has been past,” he said.
“Government needs to really come in strongly and seriously to ensure that the law is fully implemented. Disability is not a charity issue, you are not trying to help people. No. It is the duty of government to take responsibility of the welfare of the citizens, including amputees; they must be included in all government programmes, that is what we call inclusion.”
He said the physically challenged are endowed with special gifts which, if given the opportunityl will generate huge revenue for the country.
Awayi noted that over 500 people with amputations from most states of the North came for the conference and encouraged them not to limit themselves by their predicament but come out to exercise their right.
The story of Mary Fidelis, a 16-year-old native of Benue State, was especially touching. She had lost one of her limbs when Fulani herdsmen invaded her home and chopped off one of her legs.
“It was at the age of 2 when Fulani herdsmen came to our house. My mother ran and left me inside the room and Fulani people came and cut off one of my legs and left me to die. But to God be the glory I survived it,” she narrated her story.
Most of the amputees complained that their challenges came as a result of motor accidents, communal crises, diabetes, among other causes.