Abia PWDs protest exclusion in employment opportunities
By Steve Oko
Persons living With Disabilities (PWDs) in Abia State have cried foul over what they called continued exclusion of their members in employment opportunities in the state.
The PWDs including the blind, the deaf, albinos and persons with spinal cord injuries who addressed a press conference Wednesday in Umuahia called for the establishment of skill acquisition centers in the state for their members.
Speaking under the auspices of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, the PWDs complained against the recent recruitment by the state government which they alleged, their members were not accommodated.
Abia State Chairman of the association, Comrade Stanley Onyebuchi who spoke for others called on government to stop all forms of discrimination against PWDs and give them sense of belonging.
“We wish to draw the attention of the state government to the fact that all employment exercises carried out recently in Abia State, Persons With Disabilities were not accommodated”, he lamented.
He further said that ” it is disheartening to observe that since the creation of Abia State PWDs have been excluded in the appointment of political positions like Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries ,Advisers, etc “.
Onyebuchi appealed to the state government to restore the special scholarship scheme for PWDs from primary school to tertiary level.
The association also called on the state government to set up a Disability Trust Fund to lessen the financial burden of PWDs on the government.
According to them many PWDs resort to begging for survival due to lack of adequate care by government.
“If we ask them to leave the streets, where do they go? Onyebuchi asked .
He , however, noted that about 80-90% of PWDs who beg on the streets of Abia were aliens from other states.
They commended the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari for the speedy passage and signing into law of the Nigerians with Disability Bill, while appealing to the Abia State House of Assembly and the State Governor to do same.
The group however, urged the Federal Government to ensure full implementation of the law, and to establish the National Disability Commission as contained in the law.
Similarly, the Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD, Mr. David Anyaele, expressed worry that “governments, ministries, departments and agencies in Abia provide their services and programmes at the exclusion of persons with disabilities”.
The ED who was represented at the joint press conference by CCD Programme Assistant, Uloma Uwadoka, noted that five per was constitutionally reserved for PWDs in any recruitment exercise in the country.
He argued that PWDs could efficiently handle any position of responsibility in the state as most of their members, he claimed, “are well read and highly endowed.”
Adding her voice, the state Coordinator of Albinos, Ms Ugonwa Okeke, called on government to provide visual aids for albinos as well as special centres in government hospitals for skin cancer screening for albinos.Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email [email protected]; [email protected] Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.