The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) commends the Executive Governor of Abia State Okezie Ikpeazu (PhD) for the approval of the appointment of Mr. Ekeoma Onwukwe Samuel as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Disability Matters; and Mrs Anthonia Ngozika Isiguzo as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Persons with Hearing Impairment in Abia State.
The approval of these two significant appointments is not only commendable but also demonstrates the unalloyed commitments of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (PhD) towards reducing barriers faced by persons with disabilities (PWDs) and promoting PWDs’ inclusion into the State development plans and programmes.
We say a BIG THANK YOU to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (PhD) for demonstrating such an exemplary leadership in the implementation of the National Disability Act, in particular Section 30(1) which provides that Persons with disabilities shall be encouraged to fully participate in politics and public affairs; and same in section 30(2) that states further that Government shall actively promote an environment in which PWDs can actively and fully participate in the conduct of public affairs without discrimination through these laudable appointments.
We are excited that the call we made to the Abia State government on the 29th of September 2020 during our courtesy visit to the Secretary to the State Government, in which we requested for the appointment of aids to the State Governor on Disability Matters has been honoured.
We are pleased to note that CCDs’ project on Strengthening Persons with Disabilities Advocacy Capacity in Abia State which was supported by the Government and good people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is bearing quality results. With the appointments, the voice of Abians with disabilities is becoming clearer on the policy table.
We sincerely believe that the two appointees will use this long awaited opportunity to support the government in addressing majority of barriers and challenges faced by PWDs in the entire State.
We therefore call Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (PhD) of Abia State to further extend this good gesture by taking appropriate measures to adopt the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018; in Abia State in order to reduce the attitudinal, environmental and structural barriers that impede on PWDs access to public infrastructures, and participation in public affairs; as well as to improve their socioeconomic conditions.
We further call on the Governor to support the appointees with reasonable accommodation, logistics, assign a supervisory State department to enable them function maximally as the two individuals are persons with different forms of disabilities – physically challenged and hearing impaired.
We urge the two appointees to take full advantage of this noble office to support the Governor in mainstreaming disability issues in all government programs and activities as disability issue is crosscutting involving different Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
We appeal to all organisations of, and for persons with disabilities, development partners and the private sector to support the Abia State Government in her ceaseless effort to protect its citizens with disabilities from discrimination and other harmful practices.
We wish to reassure the leadership of the Abia State Government and newly approved appointees of CCDs’ commitment towards providing technical and other supports that can enhance mainstreaming of disabilities affairs in Abia State government programs and activities.
David O. Anyaele
Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)