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Forum Petitions Ikpeazu For Persons With Disabilities

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Ahead of his May 29 inauguration for a second term in office, a forum has petitioned Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to offer more appointment and employment opportunities to Persons with Disabilities (PDs) in the new administration.

“We request that all his appointments and employments comply with the provision of Section 29 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 on the reservation of at least 10% of such opportunities for our members,” it said.

This was contained in a communique issued yesterday at the end of a one-day stakeholders’ forum on the state of PDs in the state which was organized by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) in Umuahia, the state capital.

The communiqué, which was obtained by LEADERSHIP was signed by David Anyaele and Stanley Onyebuchi, executive chairman of the CCD and the chairman, Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities respectively.

The forum applauded him for appointing eight PDs in the present administration, adding that the appointments should include commissioners, permanent secretaries, advisers, board members, and chief executives of parastatals among others.

It demanded, “as a matter of necessity his support for the passage of a law that would protect the PDs from discrimination and other harmful practices,” calling for an increment in the number of Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants to him.

The Forum also expressed worry over discrimination and exclusion of Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants to him on Disability Matters during government public function, “with little or no access for PDs at such events.”

“We call on all political appointees of the disability community in the state to see their appointments as a call to service towards ameliorating the conditions of the PDs, but not to see their appointments as personal to them,” the forum further stated.

Just it commended him for “the different empowerment programmes for PDs in 17 local government areas of the state,” it recognized his efforts at using sports for the integration and rehabilitation of PDs which has yielded positive results in the para-sports.

It therefore called on individuals, business organiations and governments at all levels in the country to see PDs as equal stakeholders to mainstream them in every sphere of the society, adding “but not to see issues concerning them from charity perspective.

According to the communiqué, present at the forum were former senior special assistants and special assistants to Ikpeazu on Disability Affairs, and executive members of the Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities,

Others were representatives of the Nigeria National Association of Deaf, National Association of Blind, the Albino Foundation, National Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities, the President of Para-Badminton, and CCD staff among others.

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