As the world marked international day of Persons with Disabilities, the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, National Leader of the PWDs, Hon Tolu Bankole, has celebrated all people with disabilities for their resilience and readiness to excel despite the challenges.
The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on December 3 was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities
Bankole in a statement he personally signed on Saturday said, the APC led administration under President Muhammadu Buhari has particularly played an important role in tackling the range of challenges confronting the disabilities community.
According to him, “President Buhari has assented to Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, and other intervention programmes to alleviate the plight of PWDs in Nigeria.
“APC been a friend of PWDs have strongly and consistently advocated for the inclusion and improvement of lives of PWDs which led to the free nomination form for all PWDs aspirants in the 2022 APC primaries at all levels.
Bankole while speaking on his achievements as the APC national leader of the PWDs, noted that he disbursed grants and empowerment to women and men facing challenges.
“As the leader of PWDs, I disbursed grants and empowerment to women and men in different PWDs clusters nationwide to engender financial inclusion. Bursary and scholarships were awarded to PWDs students across the country while I paid for GCE forms of hundreds of SSS 3 students to drive home our call for educational inclusion.
“I organised and self sponsored the first PWDs National summit at NICON Hilton Abuja where far reaching resolutions have been forwarded to the appropriate authorities for prompt actions.
” Indeed, government must do more for us. According to the Global Report on Assistive Technology, 2.5 billion people need at least one assistive product. The demand is expected to be go up to 3.5 billion by 2050. The requirement may range from a spectacle to highly advanced myoelectric hand or robotic exoskeletons.
“However, nearly nine out of 10 people who need assistive technology do not have access to it; this has an adverse impact on the education, livelihood, health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and societies.
He urged Nigerian government to innovate technologies that will improve access of PWDs
“Availability and affordability of assistive smart technologies to PWDs will give them access/ inclusion thus they can participate fully, equally and effectively in society with others, and face no barriers in all aspects of their lives.
” States who are yet to domesticate the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 must do so urgently. We call for: financial inclusion of PWDs, accessibility and economic development and empowerment of PWDs, education and health services at affordable cost to PWDs, scholarship and bursary, and insurance policy at affordable cost.
“Especially, in the area of political inclusion by appointing PWDs as Minister at the federal cabinet and Commissioners at the various states to finally put a nail on the coffin of discrimination, stigmatisation and rejection of PWDs in Nigeria.
“This year’s International Day of Persons With Disabilities occurs in our build up to the general election.
“I am pleased to share that the Presidential candidate of our party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will prioritize these concerns of persons with disabilities if elected in 2023 as outlined in his Renewed Hope manifesto.
“Unlocking the full potential of Persons With Disabilities by breaking down the systemic barriers that limit their full participation in society is not only the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do.
Again, we celebrate all PWDs for their resilience and readiness to excel despite the challenges.”
He also urged all PWDs to vote for all APC candidates in the 2023 general elections for inclusive development.