The members of the Ebonyi State Association of People with Disabilities have sought the establishment of a Commission to cater to the needs of the disabled in the state.
The state chairman of the Association who is also Special Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor on People with Disabilities, Barr. Enyi C. Enyi made this known in front of Ebonyi State House of Assembly Complex Nkaliki Abakaliki while presenting the bill to the Speaker, Chief Francis Nwifuru.
Barr. Enyi who disclosed that the association in the state has numerical strength of 1150 registered members decried lack of care, appealed for scholarship scheme and equipped skill acquisition centers for the members to keep them away from the streets.
The chairman assured that if the government, philanthropists, corporate bodies, churches or well-to-do individuals should float genuine empowerment programs for the disabled, abilities of great magnitudes shall be discovered in them instead of resorting to alms begging or causing nuisances to the society.
Barr. Enyi said, “The youths, widows, elders, traditional rulers, the clergy of Ebonyi State today are beaming with smiles. They are being recognized in the state. The people you see here are the people who should be treated with clemency considering their plights. They should be the first people to be taken care of.”
“Presently, we have 1150 registered members in the state. Despite that, we have not had any direct empowerment to our members in this state. I believe that if the Governor’s empowerment got to these people directly, their families will be alleviated from poverty.”
“I appeal to members of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Nkaliki, to please on their own, create a forum for empowerment for the blind/disabled persons in the state to better their lives. As well, most of us who are in special schools are now driven out because of a lack of funds to pay fees. If the scholarship scheme is put in place for us, it shall be highly appreciated by both men and God. This will enable us to finish our academics and contribute our quota to developing the state and nation in general.”
“I believe that if all these appeals are looked into genuinely, we shall be more beneficial to the state even up to the extent of creating jobs as entrepreneurs. I mean to teach us how to catch fish, don’t give us fish. As the leaders of the association, we are trying to end the era of having destitute around our state by getting them gainfully engaged. If you go in front of St Theresa’s church and many strategic places, you will see many there. If you create equipped skill acquisition centers and empower its graduates, I believe you have taken many of us out of the streets.”
“This is why we are asking for the establishment of a Commission for the disabled, to be managed by those living with disabilities under the direct supervision of the Governor.”
“We solicit that the Commission when established, shall make available not less than 5% of its workforce to qualified persons with a disability, compel the public to change their negative attitudes towards persons with a disability, to formulate and implement policies appropriate for educational and social development of people with disabilities to mention but few.
Receiving the bill, the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Chief Francis Nwifuru represented by his Chief of staff, Mr. Okeh Oroke reminded the people that there is a division of duties among the three arms of government and the legislature is saddled majorly with the responsibility of making laws.
Chief Nwifuru who appreciated the association for their peaceful nature and unity of purpose exhibited there, assured that the House shall look into their request and by way of information pass the message to the executive for further appropriate actions.
Earlier, members of the association were seen matching in procession under scorching sunlight from Stadium to Nkaliki junction to the State Assembly Complex accompanied by Road Safety officials and the Police to pass their message to the legislature.