….calls for implementation of 2014 confab recommendations for PLWD
Former Labour Party Governorship Candidate in Kwara State, Comrade Issa Aremu has said 70 per cent of Nigerians are “economically disabled” through poverty, huge housing deficits, lack of basics like water, light, and insecurity.
Aremu, who doubles as the Vice President, IndustriALL Global Union, also called on Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the 2014 National conference with respect to Persons living with disabilities (PLWDs).
Aremu disclosed this on Tuesday in his speech at the 2019 International Day of Persons Living with Disability (IDPD) held at Justice Mustapha Akanbi Foundation Hall, Ilorin, the kwara state capital.
He lamented that most Nigerians live with social disabilities and called on government to as a matter of urgency address this ugly trend.
Comrade Aremu however noted that it is a double jeopardy for those who combine social and economic deprivations with physical disabilities in a country without social security.
“It’s time for a kinder and caring Nigeria. Survival of the fittest (and often the wicked and corrupt) must give way to solidarity and collective compassion to lift all Nigerians into prosperity”.
“There should be “a Special passage ways for PLWDs in banks, hotels and airports where metal detectors prevent entry or exit; Separate lift carriers in high rise buildings for PLWDs to avoid injury by overcrowding; A law should be passed for compulsory assistance to persons living with disabilities by able-bodied persons while crossing the road.
“Albinos should enjoy free medical care including provision of sun glasses; and that the Electoral Act be amended to allow PLWDs (especially lepers) to exercise their voting right during elections. The Key Action Proposal: To strengthen government institutions and organization of person with disabilities to participate in the democratic process and other development efforts in Nigeria using the Right-based Approach, this involves not charity or simple economic development, but a process of enabling and empowering those not enjoying their social/political rights to claim them.
These rights according to him, include being aware of their own potentials, resources and responsibility to hold government/political leaders accountable to their needs and development.
He called on Government to support relevant MDAs and Disability Organizations in the formulation of a National policies and promote awareness on the rights of person with disabilities at the National and community levels as well as highlight all forms of barriers faced by PWDs around issues of Access and participation.
Comrade Aremu equally advocated for an amendment of the current provisions of the Constitution through insertion and deleting of clauses that do not guarantee the rights and freedom of PLWDs, adding that relevant provisions should be inserted into sections under Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution to address the gaps so exist in the constitution.
He commended PLWDs in Kwara state for their activism in promoting the interests of the physically challenged and particularly saluted Comrade Araoye and his Excos for a wonderful leadership.
He explained that the theme for this year (2019) celebration “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda” is timely and worthwhile.
The state governor, Mallam AbdulRhman AbdulRasaq, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary Ministry of omen Affairs, Alhaji Abdulganiyu Opeloyeru, said his administration has come up with a rubost supportive package through social investment programme for benefit of persons living with disabilities.
In his lecture, a University lecturer with the Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, University of Ilorin, Mr. Nuha Aremu advised government to build a low cost housing units for PLWD and as well engage them in sporting activities.
Chairman, joint national association of persons living with disabilities, Bashir Yusuf who was represented at the event by the vice chairman, Mr Peter Ayanwale, said the event also featured Trade fair for people living with disabilities in the state.
He called on corporate organisations and individuals to patronise goods produced by PLWD to improve their economic status and keep them away from street beginning.
Also speaking, the Chairman organising Committee, Comrade Kehide Araoye appealed to the state government to consider his members for political appointment as he is forming his cabinet for them to have representatives and good voice in the government.