By Leonard Okachie
Umuahia – A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), has called for representation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), in Abia government.
Mr David Anyaele, the Executive Director of CCD, made the call during the group’s advocacy visit to the Secretary to the Abia State Government (SSG), Mr Chris Ezem, in Umuahia alleging that PWDs were excluded.
Anyaele said that there was no person with disability in government either as a commissioner, special adviser or special assistant to the governor.
He expressed concern about the poor access to public infrastructure, saying that the government and public buildings had no provisions for persons with disabilities.
The executive director reiterated the need for healthcare services policy for PWDs as they were the most vulnerable group that needed the healthcare services.
Anyaele explained the benefits of having a disability law that would protect PWDs against discrimination, stigmatisation and harmful practices.
He, therefore, urged the SSG to collaborate with the Abia House of Assembly for the quick passage of Abia Disability Bill.
In his response, Ezem commended Anyaele and the CCD for their passion in leading the advocacy for PWDs in the state.
He said: “I agree with you on the issue of the need for Law on Persons with Disabilities, laws to protect, to capture the needs of some segment of people in the society; that cannot be overemphasised.
“I will take it up with the Speaker to see how we can accelerate.”
Ezem expressed readiness to present the issue of appointment of some PWDs into public office under the present government.
He said that he would personally take the matter up, after investigation, to ensure that they had representatives in the democratic governance.
High point of the meeting was the presentation of National Disability Act, CCD journals and reports to the SSG.