By Ngozi Obileri (ABS News)
Anambra state has been adjudged the only state in the South East that has given person's with disabilities right to live like others in their daily activities.
This summed up all speeches made during a one day zonal Town Hall meeting of the National Technical Working Group, held in Awka by the National Commission For Persons With Disabilities.
The town hall meeting was organised by the National Commission For Persons With Disabilities in collaboration with the Rule of Law And Anti Corruption Anambra state for both state and federal establishments in the South East geopolitical zones and national technical working group to ensure the implementation of sections 28 and 29 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which provides five percent access to employment to Persons with disabilities.
Declaring the event open, the Executive Secretary National Commission For Persons With Disabilities Mr James Lalu said they are embarking on vigorous awareness to ensure that the five percent employment as provided by the law is respected as they will hold the town hall meeting in all the six geopolitical zones of the country and monitor it's implementation afterwards.
Mr Lalu who commended Governor Willie Obiano for doing wonderfully well in giving continuous support to capacity building for persons with disabilities and the efforts of the wife of the governor Dr Ebelechukwu Obiano to improve the living standards of these special persons, noted that they are aware that Anambra is the only state that has passed the Disabilities Rights Law And is implementing it calling on other states in South East to key in.
Speaking, the Anambra state Head of Service Barrister Harry Uduh maintained, that Anambra is leading in matters of inclusiveness for such persons, as he said that three Permanent Secretaries are currently under the employ of Anambra state government, while some are retired and many more are being employed because it is a direct policy of the governor.
Barrister Uduh regretted that other states are lagging behind because of lack of awareness saying that persons with disabilities are part of the society which was why Anambra state government sees it as important as the mantra Onye aghana nwanne ya.
He added that the ministry of Housing has made it mandatory that going forward, all buildings in the state must be compliant to the environmental friendly directive to give the people with special needs enabling environment to operate.
Addressing the gathering, the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Disability Matters Barrister Chuks Ezewuzie represented by Mr Collins Joseph, said that Anambra has been taking the lead in making life easier for these special persons by not just accenting and passing the Disability Rights law but also implementing it through inauguration of a committee that has yielded so many results, adding that Anambra state actually passed the Disabilities Rights law before the Federal Act.
The state chairman Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities in JONAPID, Anambra state chapter, Mr Ugochuwkwu Okeke said that over two hundred and fifty of their members have been gainfully employed into the Anambra state civil service which earned him the name "Oguguo ndi olusi, calling on those present at the event to appreciate the governor on their behalf as they have never had it so good.
Earlier, the ROLAC programme Officer Anambra state Mrs Josephine Onah, highlighted various steps taken by ROLAC to ensure better life for these special persons in Anambra state including establishment of Directory for sign language interpreters, sexual assault effect center and remodeling of various offices and establishments to suit persons with disabilities.
The event featured presentation of copies of the book of commentaries on the achievements of Governor Willie Obiano on his seven years in office by the Special Adviser to the governor on Disability Matters Barrister Ezewuzie, to the Executive Secretary National Commission For Persons With Disabilities, Mr Lalu.