Group urges Ikpeazu to support passage of Abia disability bill

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Group urges Ikpeazu to support passage of Abia disability bill

NEWS

By Friday Etim John On May 23, 2019

Persons with disabilities in Abia State have appealed to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to intervene in ensuring the easy passage of the state disability bill intended to protect them from discrimination and other harmful practices.
The appeal was contained in a communique issued at the end of a one-day stakeholders’ forum on “state of persons with disabilities in Abia”, held on Tuesday in Umuahia and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.
The forum, which was organised by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities in Abia, expressed disappointment that the sixth state Assembly could not pass the bill before the end of its tenure.
It also expressed concern “over discrimination and exclusion of Senior Special Assistants (SSAs) and Special Advisers (SAs) to the Governor on Disability Matters during state government functions with little or no access for persons with disabilities at such events.”
The communique, which was jointly signed by the Executive Director of the centre, Mr. David Anyaele, and Chairman of the Joint National Associations, Mr. Stanley Onyebuchi, also appealed to the government to see persons with disabilities as equal stakeholders in society

It requested the government to mainstream them in every sphere of the political and socio-economic life of the state.
It further urged the Abia State government “not to see issues concerning persons with disabilities from charity perspective.”
It therefore urged Ikpeazu to ensure that all appointments and employment opportunities in the state complied with the provision of Section 29 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.
It noted that the Act provides for the reservation of at least 10 per cent of such opportunities for persons with disabilities.
The forum expressed disappointment that persons with disabilities, who were governor’s aides, had no “reasonable accommodation to aid their job.”
It lauded the governor for appointing eight persons with disabilities as SSAs but also called for an increase in the number of such appointments.
The communique also demanded for more opportunities, including appointments as commissioners, permanent secretaries, advisers, chief executives and board members of parastatals, among others.
It called for public understanding of the peculiarities faced by persons with disabilities and the additional economic burden imposed on them by their conditions.

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