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By Ify Unachukwu

A one Day Result Tracking Meeting with Service Providers and relevant MDAs on the Implementation of the Anambra State Disability Rights Law has ended in. Awka with a call on all stakeholders to help ensure a speedy implementation of the Anambra Disability Rights Law.

The event which was  organised by the Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities JONAPWD, Anambra State Chapter with support from the European Union and British Council’s Rule of Law and  Anti-Corruption RoLAC Project, was a part of the activities designed to appraise the result of advocacy visits to policymakers and relevant stakeholders.

In his goodwill message, the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Disability Matters, Barr. Chuks Ezewuzie reiterated the  commitment of the Obiano Administration towards ensuring the establishment of a disability Commission which has been given a leap with the approval of setting up a committee that will see to the realisation of the dream, adding that a Disability Counseling Centre will soon be established in the state.

While delivering her goodwill message, the Commissioner for Children and Women Affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue, represented by the Special Assistant to the Governor Social Welfare, Mr Onyeka Ebenebe commended (RoLAC) and other relevant agencies for their efforts in ensuring that Anambra state retains it's position as the best state in Nigeria with an all-inclusive governance adding that the ministry increased their budgetory provision in 2021 to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities.

For his part, the Bishop of Nnewi Anglican Diocese, Right Reverend Ndubuisi Obi, represented by Reverend Canon Chibuzor Odunukwe, revealed that an inclusive church service will soon be started in all the churches under the diocese while ramps have been constructed in all the churches in urban areas within their jurisdictions, promising that it will be replicated in the rural areas too.

Speaking, the State Coordinator, Rule of Law and Anti Corruption, Anambra State, Josephine Onah noted that the State has achieved appreciable level of inclusiveness in governance, urging the State Government,  policy makers and other stakeholders in the state to take the next step in ensuring  a sustainable inclusiveness in all facets of life in the state.

While delivering his welcome address, the state Chairman,  Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disabilities, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke, JONAPWD listed the positive results of their advocacy visits to MDAs, LGAs and service providers in the state to include: appointment of Desk officers by some MDAs, construction of ramps in some palaces and churches as directed by their traditional Rulers and Bishops, inclusive service to soon begin in churches under Nnewi Anglican Diocese, production and distribution of Sign Language Interpreters directory by RoLAC among others.

It will be recalled with the ascent of the Anambra State Disability Rights Law, in 2018, the state became the first and only state in the South East to do so. The law is designed to  facilitate access to justice for persons with mental and physical disabilities, increased employment opportunity for persons with disabilities in both public and private sector, prohibition of discrimination and harmful treatment of their members, increased right to access public building, vehicles, education, justice, health care etc.

Highlights include renewal of commitments to implementation of the Disability Rights Law in the state by participating MDAs and and service providers.

Among dignitaries at the event were: Anambra state Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Mr. Uche Okafor represented by Nkiruka Nweze, Anambra State Director of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Charles Nworji, among others.

Highlight was a drill on the Result Tracking Tools to all relevant MDAs and the presentation of a pair of crutches and a school bag to an indigent disabled 10 year old boy from Anambra East Local Government Area of the state by members JONAPWD.


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