The Joint National Association Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Anambra State Chapter, has expressed disappointment with the State Government over its failure to establish the Disability Rights Commission in Anambra State.
The Association expressed their disappointment during a media chat with newsmen in Awka to mark the 2020 International Day of Persons with Disability.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is commemorated every 3rd of November, is set aside and promoted by the United Nations since 1992, with the aim of encouraging a better understanding of people affected by disability, helping to make people more aware of the rights, dignity and welfare of persons with disabilities.
The theme for this year is “Building back better: towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world by, for and with persons with disabilities,” calls for an evaluation of the effect Covid 19 has on persons with disabilities and the impact of the various intervention provided by government and private sectors.
Anambra State Disability Rights Law was passed and assented to by Governor Willie Obiano since 2018 and the law seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination against PWDs, avail them equal rights with the rest of the society as well as create the Commission.
According to the State Chairman of the JONAPWD, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke, the need for the establishment of the Commission was to provide the platform for stakeholders to rally for the full implementation of the law.
“The continued delay in establishing the Disability Rights Commission in Anambra has made it impossible for the realization of all the lofty goals of the Disability Rights Law. We, therefore, call for the establishment of the Commission with its full compliment,” he appealed.
Meanwhile, Anambra State Government has revealed that the list of members of the Disability Rights Commission in the state is being vetted and compiled and will be announced soon.
Chuks Ezewuzie, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Disability Matters who disclosed this in a chat with TNC correspondent, said Anambra is the only state in the south-east that has legislation to protect the rights of Persons with disabilities.
While noting that the clamour for the establishment of the Commission is not misplaced, Ezewuzie said Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano has shown friendly disposition towards the disability community especially through budgetary allocation.
“Here, we must also commend the Governor for the way he has addressed issues pertaining to the Disability Community. He had set up the Office on Disability Matters with a Special Adviser to superintend over their affairs of the special people. He also promptly set up the Anambra State Disability Community COVID 19 Response Team, through which many other interventions were made available to persons with disabilities by government and private sectors,” Ezewuzie revealed.
On the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, Ezewuzie said considering the reality of the post COVID era, it is expected that all governments and other private sectors should promote programs that remove barriers to the survival of persons with disabilities in post COVID world.
According to him, these barriers include Institutional, Attitudinal and Architectural hindrances.