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LASEDI canvasses special commission for disabled

By The Rainbow
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The Legal Aid Self Development Initiative, LASEDI, has asked the National Assembly to enact an Act to ensure full integration of persons with disabilities through a National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, NACOMPED.
Executive Secretary of LASEDI, Mr Ifeanyichukwu Mamah, made the call in a statement in Enugu yesterday.
Mamah also suggested that the proposed Act of the National Assembly should vest the responsibilities for the health care and protection of the social, economic and civil rights of persons with disabilities on the NACOMPED.
This is contained in a statement entitled, ”The governments’ recurrent neglect of the physically challenged persons in Nigeria.”
LASEDI’s recommendations are coming against the backdrop of the demonstration by physically challenged persons in Delta State about three weeks ago over alleged neglect by the authorities.
”We wish to use this medium to condemn the unfair treatment of persons living with disabilities in the country by both the local governments, states and the federal governments.
” A case in point is the incident which took place on July 9, 2013, in Delta State. The various governments should not have allowed the fortunes of the physically challenged in Delta State to degenerate to a point where they embark on demonstrations by blocking the Asaba axis of the Benin-Onitsha Express way. The demonstration was their last option in getting the attention of the government to their plights.

”The various state government especially, owe Nigerians explanations on reasons why persons living with disabilities are not being catered for in the midst of plenty. The bone of contention here is the failure, refusal and or neglect by the governments to provide free health services to these special Nigerians. It is terrible that these helpless citizens of our country lost five members forcing them to resort to demonstration.

We therefore, call on all the three tiers of government and other stakeholders to harmonize all their efforts towards resolving the problems of the physically challenged persons, by matching words with action to bring about a paradigm shift in their fortunes.
”This can be done, by not only creating employment opportunities but facilitating their access to SME's fund and other health care schemes, vocational education, housing and scholarships to some of the deserving ones.

”We call on all the NGOs and CSOs to rise up to this challenge, all hands must be on deck to champion the cause of physically challenged persons in Nigeria. Let us emulate countries like, South Africa that have more comprehensive disability rights’ legislations and policy regimes. The physically challenged should be involved and carried along in policy making and implementation,” Mamah added.