The White Cane Safety Day is an internationally endorsed event aimed at drawing awareness to blindness and blind persons safety in a predominantly sighted society. This occasion has been observed every 15th of October since 1964.
In commemoration of this year’s event, the Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB) has called on the government to get proactive about improving the plight of blind persons and other Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the country.
Addressing journalists in Lagos yesterday was the national President of NAB, Ishiyaku Adamu. While commending the Buhari administration’s efforts at managing the menace of COVID-19, he urged the government not to forget its obligations to visually impaired Nigerians as stated in the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Comrade Ishiyaku Adamu beamed the spotlight on Articles 9 and 19, which require each country to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers facing Persons with Disabilities. The Articles go on to advocate that persons with disabilities can easily access their environment, transportation and public facilities. Article 19 specifically states that Persons with Disabilities must be able to live independently to give real meaning to the term “inclusion” in the community.
Also speaking at the occasion was David Okon, immediate past President of the association. He urged government to subsidise the costs of acquiring gadgets used by blind persons. According to him, such is the norm in most civil societies.
Mr. Okon further emphasised that in designing policies for the new normal occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, special needs of Persons living with Disabilities should be considered and provide for.