By Job Osazuwa
Miffed by the way many visually-impaired persons were roaming the streets of Nigeria, begging alms, Nigerian Association of the Blind (NAB), Ogun State chapter, has challenged its members to pursue education in order to secure their future.
Making this charge at a congress in Sagamu, Ogun State, recently, the association’s chairman, Mr. Joseph Oluwasesan Bulugbe, who called on government at all levels to live up to their responsibilities, said the future of every nation, body or organisation was dependent on how the young generation was catered for.
He stated that, if government failed to create a conducive environment for young people to thrive, especially the physically-challenged, society would be at the receiving end.
“One sure way to build a healthy nation is by ensuring that our youth get a quality education. B.B Kings said, ‘The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it from you.’ I agree with this assertion; when we educate our youths, we give them a tool that stays with them for life.
“We will work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the education received by blind youths at all levels reflects today’s move to learning that is grounded in science and technology. This way, our youths will not only go to school but would be better prepared for the workplace and business environment of the future.
“As an association, we will ensure that issues bordering on the welfare of these old men and women of our association are prioritized. Extra consideration will be given to their welfare,” the chairman said.
Bulugbe pledged to work with relevant bodies in ensuring that the Ogun State government passes into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act 2018, enacted by the Federal Government, and similar laws in states such as Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Cross River, Delta and Anambra, which provides for the education, healthcare, social, economic and civil rights of persons with disabilities.
He said: “It is our right and we should not be deprived of what is fundamentally ours. We can no longer continue to suffer deprivation.” On employment, he said, “We can’t have our members go through the strenuous process of getting education from secondary school, through the higher institutions and still have to sit back because there are no jobs. We will rectify this issue by lobbying all relevant bodies to ensure that our graduates are duly employed and they also enjoy the full privileges that come with their jobs.
“For our members who have no formal education, we will encourage such members to acquire vocational skills that will enable them fit into society.”
The chairman assured his members of regular training that would help them fit into society, especially in the areas of information and communication technology, office management and other skills.
“As chairman, I am ready to give my resources, time and finance into ensuring that our association becomes excellent. I will continue to advocate for progress and peace. I cannot do all these alone without your support, endorsement and partnership,” he said.