Friday, January 21

Edo will domesticate disability law in 2022 – Gov Obaseki

By.  Emmanuel Ikhenebome

After years of relentless advocacy for a disability law in Edo State, governor Godwin Obaseki has assured members of the disability community in the state that his administration will domesticate the law next year.

Governor Obaseki gave the assurance on Friday at the Network for the Advancement of People With Visible Disabilities (NAPVID) 10th ‘Rights Above Charity Lecture’, held to mark this year’s 2021 International Day for People with disabilities, at the government house, Benin city.

According to governor Obaseki who was represented by his deputy, Philip Shaibu, the state has laid a benchmark in terms of attention to physically challenged persons for both federal and state governments to emulate. 

Shaibu, represented by his Chief of Staff, Jimoh Ijegbai maintained that the state government prioritise the welfare of people with disabilities, hence their integration into it policies and programs.

“I see Edo State domesticating the disability law in 2022”, the governor said during a panel discussion at the event

Executive director of NAPVID, Barr Melody Omosah noted that excitement in the disability community stems from signing into law in 2019 of the ‘Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Prohibition Act of 2018’, as it mainstreamed issues of persons with disabilities into governance and development.

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Barr Omosah said the excitement can only be completed if the disability act is domesticated by all state governments to ensure that “people with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental impairments fully and effectively participate in society on an equal basis with others”.

Omosah expressed appreciation to governor Obaseki for his commitments to disability inclusion in the state despite the absence of a legal framework.

Also, chairperson of Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) in the state, Ann Ojugo commended the Obaseki-led administration for it inclusiveness, adding it has placed the state among comity of state with concerted interests in the well-being of persons with disabilities.

Ojugo stressed that, the disability law was “long overdue” for domestication, hence the governor should make it a reality as “Edo state state is the heartbeat” of Nigeria.

Other speakers include the President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, who was represented by Kunle Edun.

Highpoint of the occasion was a panel session to discuss the theme of this year’s International Day of Persons With Disabilities is: ‘Leadership And Participation of Persons With Disabilities Toward An Inclusive, Accessible, And Sustainable Post Covid-19 World: Legal Framework to The Rescue’.

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The discussants were governor Obaseki, Austine Osakue, Ekaete Umoh, and Larry Ofulue.

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