The Disability Community in Anambra State is optimistic that State Governor, Willie Obiano will establish the Disability Rights Commission before the end of his tenure, to ensure the full implementation of the provisions of the Disability Rights Law in the state.
The Special Adviser to Anambra Governor on Disability Matters, Barr Chuks Ezewuzie gave the optimism in Awka, in a briefing with newsmen on Wednesday.
Recall that the Anambra Disability Rights Bill was passed into law and the state governor accented to it on the 18th of December, 2018.
However, almost three years after, the Commission that will give life to the provisions of the law is yet to come on board.
But according to Ezewuzie, the governor is taking his time to ensure that the right things are done, as is characteristic of him.
He revealed that the governor had set up a disability rights implementation committee charged with the responsibility of developing the framework for the establishment of the Commission.
“The Disability Rights Bill was passed into law in 2018 and since then, the governor has shown the disability community-friendly disposition despite the fact that the Commission has not come on board.
“It is on record that the governor employed 230 Persons With Disabilities, PWDs into the state workforce.
“He has also given political appointments to many members of the disability community.
“So, I can authoritatively tell you that in Anambra, the state government under the leadership of Chief Willie Obiano has moved the issue of PWDs from that of charity to that of rights,” he noted.
Ezewuzie said the governor has disclosed his intention to set Anambra as a shining example of how society should take care of persons with disabilities, saying that he is hopeful that the Commission will come on board soon.
“As to whether I am worried that this Commission will come on board before the tenure of Governor Obiano, the answer is no because I know the governor as a proactive man.
“I call him a P4 leader. He is Patriotic, Prophetic, Precautionary and has a Pre-emptive strike. I am sure the governor is consulting wide and soon, we will have that commission,” he enthused.
On the just-concluded governorship election in Anambra, Ezewuzie who is the head of the disability community in Anambra, congratulated the governor-elect, Professor Chukwuma Soludo and his deputy, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, saying Anambra people got what they wanted.
According to him, Soludo is a man with the connection, competence and creativity, to give Anambra the desired transformation its people have always yearned for.
“I want to thank the Anambra people for supporting the election of the APGA candidate, Professor Soludo, who has shown the capacity to move the state forward.
“Part of the over 600,000 voters with disabilities in Anambra State joined in the making of this history, to ensure that Soludo who had in his closing comments, committed to the welfare of persons with disabilities is made a priority, won the election.
“For the first time, the APGA regime created a directorate of campaigns for the disability community to mobilize members to vote in the election.
“We took it a step further to set up sub-committees and structures in the 21 LGAs who went to work in the various places to mobilize our members to vote and the result is what we are celebrating today,” he said.
Adjudging the election as free, fair and credible, Ezewuzie urged those headed to court to challenge the outcome, to avoid any attempt to thwart the collective will of the people.
“While everyone has the right to seek redress in court when they feel aggrieved, I wish to advise those going to court to be properly guided so as not to bring themselves to mockery.
“I plead with them not to go to court on frivolities so that they do not put a nail on the coffin of their political ambition in Anambra State.
“Anambra people are watching and will not forget how they tried to thwart their collective wish.
“If both local and international observers have adjudged this election to be transparent, it means that they are scorning the people of Anambra who expressed their wishes loud and clear by going to court,” Ezewuzie opined.
On his part, the State Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke said the PWDs participated in the election because they want to prove that they have the capacity to make a change in the state administration.