The Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) has waded into the crisis rocking the Plateau State chapter of the association with the aim of resolving it.
Miss Omotunde Ellen Thompson, Deputy Chairperson/Secretary of JONAPWD Board of Trustee, made this known, on Sunday, in a statement in Abuja.
It would be recalled that members of the Plateau State chapter of JONAPWD had planned to embark on massive protest to the state’s government house and National Assembly, Abuja, if Governor Simon Lalong ignored their call against nominating Mr. James Lalu as member of the state’s Disability Rights Commission.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Jan. 23, 2019, assented to Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.
Section 31 of the Act provides for the setting up of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities with Executive Secretary as the head.
Thompson, in the statement, appealed to members in the state to sheathe their sword.
According to her, we have heard your plights as a PWDs (People With Disabilities) mother.
“First and foremost, we thank God for our President, Muhammadu Buhari, that assented to the Nigerians with Disability Act, which mandated that an independent National Commission should be established.
“I am appealing to our Plateau State PWDs who cried out concerning the situation of Plateau State Disability Rights Commission (DRC) during a meeting held on June 15, 2020, at the Village Hostel, Uni-Jos.
“It took us 20 years to get this law and as the umbrella body of PWDs, we can not fold our arms and watch wrong people among us becoming members of the commission.
“The entire Plateau State people with disabilities, especially the University of Jos Students with disabilities, are badly affected by COVIC-19 lockdown because of Mr. James Lalu’s years of mismanagement of the Plateau State Disability Rights Commission.
“Their situations are terrible and as the umbrella body, we will not allow such to continue during Post COVID-19 pandemic and Nigerian economic recovery,” she said.
The group chairperson assured that the interest of 31 million PWDs in Nigeria would continue to be protected.
She, therefore, said there was the urgent need to establish the commission In order to end lack of disability inclusion in matters affecting disability in the country.
“NOTHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US. If we fail to learn from our past mistakes and start addressing crisis through its history, we stand the danger of repeating same mistake,” Thompson remarked. (The shield online)