Persons living with disabilities seek political appointments in Ekiti 



Joint National Association of  Persons  Living with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Ekiti chapter, has pleaded to  the  State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to appoint a member as either  commissioner or special adviser in  government.
The association said such would propel  Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to work hard and contribute to the society, rather than being liabilities.
JONAPWD also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to establish a commission to look after its members numbering 27.9 million across the country.
The body  urged President Buhari to break the jinx by assenting to the National Disability Bill that had been awaiting presidential  assent since the days of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
JONAPWD made this appeal at a press conference  in Ado Ekiti heralding the 2018 international Day for persons with disabilities, as the claimed that  time has come for the federal government to legalise the rights of members and stop interventions in the form of charity.
The conference was  jointly addressed by JONAPWD Chairman, Mr. Omotola Omotula and Secretary, Funso Olajide.
Olajide, who read the speech  said: “Statistics had shown that one out of 10 Nigerians  lives with one form of disability or the other.
The same statistics revealed that PWDs in Nigeria are 27.9 million out of 180 million population.
“So, I believe we  can have a commission to take care of our people. We are no longer comfortable with the establishment of a department under the Ministry of Women Affairs to intervene in our issues. The staff in the department can be deployed in the commission to work,” he said.
Olajide urged Fayemi to run  all-inclusive government  by appointing “a Special Adviser and other key appointments  in his cabinet from our members, who are qualified.
“We also need improved funding for special schools, empowerment, social security , free education at all levels, subvention for running of the association, employment of able-bodied graduates into three Ekiti Special schools and provision of bus for JONADWP,” he demanded.
A  practicing  Lawyer and member of JONAPWD, Barrister Gboyega Afolabi,  expressed regret over the delay in the signing of the disability bill into law by preceding administrations.
Afolabi , who traced the trajectory of the existence of the  bill, said President Buhari would be the fourth President to preside over the bill that had already been passed by the two Houses of the National Assembly.
“The bill was passed by both  federal Houses in 2003, but former President Olusegun Obasanjo refused to sign it. Even when we thought he would used this as a parting gift in 2007, he withheld assent to the bill.
“In  2015, it was also passed by both houses, but former President Goodluck Jonathan refused to sign. The bill has also been signed now, we want President Buhari to sign it and take the credit.
“Whatever the government does for  us in Nigeria was considered a charity, we want to go beyond that level. We want these things to be done on the basis of rights and only this law can help us,” he said.

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