The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Enugu State chapter has appealed to the new Governor, Peter Mbah, to build on the achievements of his predecessor, who signed the State Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Bill of 2022 into law at the twilight of his administration.
The immediate past governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, had assented to the bill following its passage on the 4th of April, 2023, by the state legislature.
Describing the document as machinery towards an inclusive society for all with a paradigm shift from charity to right base approach on disability matters, the statement signed by the chairman, JONAPWD, Enugu State Chapter, Onyebuchi Mba, sees it as a morale booster to thousands of persons with disabilities across the 17 local government areas of the State.
“We welcome with wholeheartedly your tomorrow is here slogan at this stage of implementation of the inclusive legislation in governance which hence registers our dear State Enugu in the world designed principles for inclusive society”.
To further give impetus to the new law, the statement advocates for the establishment of the State Disability Commission and the constitution of its board to level up with over 20 States across the federation which have achieved that.
“We look up to you in our desperation for equity, fairness and respect for human dignity in promoting self-discovery and reliance other than self-pity and perpetual liability as seen in the disability community,” the statement further reads.
“Members of this special community have suffered a series of untold neglects, discrimination and maltreatment hence our call on you to expedite action towards promoting their rights and giving them a sense of belonging in your government”.
The statement requests for the creation of a disability desk and at least 5% appointment into political positions as prescribed by the law.
It regrets that the community boasts of several university graduates and other vulnerable folks who have taken to the streets at the mercy of unscrupulous individuals who take unwholesome advantage of their predicaments.
“Good enough the disability legislation captures their interests and stipulates penalties for such surreptitious activities,” the statement notes.
It urges the governor to take advantage of the law to turn around the fortunes of persons with disabilities or PWDs in the area as this it argues will write his name in gold as the best disability-friendly governor of the state.