By Nnedimma Chukwuleta
Anambrastate government has been enjoined to take up the responsibility of providing for persons with disabilities in the state.
The chairman, Anambra State Disability Rights Commission (DRC), Barrister Chuka Ezewuzie, who made the statement also said that providing for persons with disabilities as function of the government will go along way in measuring the performance and commitment to governance.
He stated this during a one-day programme titled “the journey so far”, held at the Women’s Development Centre Awka.
Speaking via Google meet at the occasion, the Chairman of the Commission stressed the need for inclusion of persons with disabilities as being critical in measuring a progressive society like Anambra state.
“The commission started from 13th September 2018, when the Anambra state house of assembly passed the State disability rights bill which became law.
“The law is a mandated domestication of the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Section 3 of this law provides for the establishment of the Anambra state disability rights commission, with powers to implement the provisions of the law and create a one-stop shop for all disability issues and services in Anambra state.
“On the 3rd December 2021, in commemoration of the International Day of Persons’ with Disabilities, the ANSDRC was established; 1st February 2022, ten commission members were appointed and inaugurated by the formal governor, Chief Willie Obiano, as stipulated by section 4 of the law.”
Barr Ezewuzie outlined the successes of the commission to include: staff development and capacity building, inculcation of the spirit of volunteerism in Ndi Anambra, promotion of special sports, eye and skin care for Albininos, mobility training for the visually-impaired, deaf community services, e-Government and world meeting platforms among others.
He commended the effort of Governor Charles Soludo led administration in ensuring that the commission is not dissolved, adding that the governor promised to reconstitute and fund the commission for optimum performance.
The Commission Chairman however called for collective effort for the inclusion of persons with ability in all activities of life.
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Ify Obinabo assured the commission that the ministry through the Governor will support persons with disabilities in the state.
Uche Ajuluchukwu (who is Uche Ajuluchukwu?) decried that the administration of Soludo has not shown interest and concern in the affairs of the disability community in the state, noting that the provisions of the law are poorly implemented, exclusion, neglect, and inability to access public and private facilities remain daily experiences of persons with disabilities in the state despite the existence of the law and a commission established to ensure its implementation.
On his part, the Chairman Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Anambra chapter, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke expressed gratitude to God for the gift of life to witness the event, saying the time has come for his members to re-strategise towards ensuring that the provisions of the law are met for the good and benefit of the PWDs in the state.
Highlight of the occasion was presentation of certificate to trainees of Disability Rights Commission who was trained on how to access computer and technology, special sports recognition of athletes and medalist with disabilities, distribution of guide canes and sun screens among others.
Immediate past Principal Secretary to the past administration, Chief Willie Nwokoye, Lady Pat Okeke, among others were in attendance.###