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Anambra establishes Disabilities Rights Commission

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By Chikoadi Chukwuleta and Blessing Nnabuife

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano has established Disability Rights Commission to run the affairs of persons living with disabilities in the state.

Announcing this during the celebration of this year’s International Day of Persons With Disabilities in Awka, Special Adviser to Governor Obiano on Disability Matters, Chuks Ezewuzie, who was appointed Chairman and Executive Director of the commission expressed joy over the new development in the state.

He noted that the approval of the commission was another milestone of the Governor Obiano administration in the state.

Ezewuzie maintained that many projects of the governor have been beneficial to the disability community, adding that public buildings are becoming disability-friendly as the private sector has joined in making sure that persons with disabilities have access to all public and private establishments.

According to Ezewuzie, “the governor has made sure this year that his legacy projects are handicapped friendly. He made sure that the Anambra International Conference Centre and Anambra State International Cargo and Passenger Airport are accessible and friendly to persons with disabilities.

“The governor on December 3, 2021, has officially approved the formation of the Disabilities Rights Commission in accordance with Section 3 of the Disabilities Rights Law and has appointed the executive director in accordance with Section 7 of the same law.

“He has also appointed members of the disabilities group into the commission in accordance with Section 4(1) of the Disabilities Rights Law and they are expected to commence duties immediately.”

The state’s Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Chairman, Ugochukwu Okeke described the appointment of Chuks Ezewuzie as a step in the right direction and
also urged all stakeholders to work concertedly to shape an inclusive future for all and ensure active participation of PWDs in the state.

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Comrade Okeke spoke on the significance of the annual event themed: “Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities Towards an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable COVID-19 World ” and expressed the need to create enabling environment for the involvement of persons with disabilities in the leadership aspirations of the state.

According to him, “it is critical that all members of the society are able and motivated to participate in civic, social, economic and political activities at any level. In order to encourage all inclusive participation, there must be equity in the distribution of wealth and resources.”

Speaking during the event, Head of Media Department, Office of the Governor on Disability Matters, Chidimma Ajemba, explained that the intention of the disability rights was to break down barriers to inclusion and fight for the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Ajemba, who called for sustainable and rransformative progress on disability inclusion maintained that about one billion population of persons are with disabilities globally and stated that the commitment to realising the rights of persons with disabilities will not only yield justice but provide an investment in the future.

The disability community however, charged the Anambra State Governor-elect, Prof Charles Soludo to consolidate on the achievements of Governor Willie Obiano on improving the welfare and participation of PWDs in the affairs of the state.

Among other demands of the group are the review of retirement age of Persons with disabilities in the civil service, building of ramps in public facilities and structures for easy access, eradication of violence against women and inclusive participation of the disability group in the affairs of the state.

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In their goodwill messages, Director of Rehabilitation, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Mrs Obianyo Anthonia encouraged the disability group in the state to strive for independence irrespective of the difficulty, while Rule of Law and Anti Corruption State Programme Coordinator, Mrs Josephine Onah, urged government and people of the state to work for the effective implementation of the Disabilities Rights Law in the state.

Others present at the occasion are representatives of civil society organisations, religious bodies, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) and the sports sector as well as the organised Plprivate sector.

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