Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Hundreds of People With Disability (PWD) in Benue State have called on President Mohammadu Buhari to as a matter of national emergency sign the disability rights bill into law.
The PWD who walked round some parts of Makurdi as they joined the rest of their counterparts across the globe to celebrate the 2018 International Day of Persons With Disabiljity (IDPD) urged the President to champion the change mantra he had been preaching by signing the disability bill into law.
Executive Director and Co-Founder of QuestAid Foundation, Ms. Aver Akighir said the International Day of PWDs is celebrated every 3rd of December each year, with the aim of promoting empowerment, and helping to create real opportunities for PWDs.
Akighir stated further that the theme for this year’s IDPD, “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring
inclusiveness and equality” focuses on empowering PWDs for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
“The 2030 Agenda, pledging to “leave no one behind,” is an ambitious plan of action of the international community towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where dignity of an individual person and equality among all is applied as the fundamental principle, cutting across the three pillars of the work of the United Nations: Development, Human Rights, Peace and Security.”
She called on the Benue State Government to create a disability commission and create more opportunities for PWDs in skills acquisitions, employment, education and the private sector while also appealing to the State House of Assembly to enact disability laws meant to protect the interest of PWDs.
“In Benue State, PWDs do not enjoy access to the society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation. The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.
“We call upon the civil society, the religious organisation, the traditional rulers and all in authority to give PWDs a chance by empowering them to become successful.
“We hope that when next we will be celebrating another International Day of Persons with disabilities by next year 2019, PWDs will be proud to say; Nigeria is a country for all irrespective of one’s disability or social status. We must always remember to always be our brothers and sisters’ keepers,” Akighir noted.