Comrade Ann Obehi Ojugo, Coordinator of Unique Love For Disability Initiative has pledged to make sure that Edo State Disability Bill is passed and domesticated in the State before her tenure expires.
She promised to ensure that Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in Edo State are included in governance and other social programs.
This she said yesterday in a chat with Inclusive News Network, INN after being declared winner and chairperson of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Edo state chapter. Ojugo won by a landslide, defeating her rival by 61 to 4 votes.
She said “My plans by the grace of God, i will make sure the disability bill is passed and domesticated in Edo State. That PWDs in Edo state are included in governance and other social programs”
She said, “There will be programs on personal development, empowerment and enhanced livelihood skills acquisition will also be put in place to help cushion the effect of poverty on PWDs in Edo”.
She pointed out that these can be achieved by working with the relevant agencies, Government, NGOs, and other developmental partners.
Ms. Ojugo also advised government on the need to come up with inclusive policies while putting in place structures that will enable Persons with Disabilities live their lives to the fullest.
This, she reiterated can be done through the provision of job opportunities, scholarship schemes and accessible environment that will enable us function without hindrances.
“In Edo state I want the government to assent to passage of the Disability Bill without further delay.”
She also implored developmental agencies to partner with PWDs to ensure their voices are heard.
According to her, “the readiness of these agencies to lend a helping hand is critical to building a stress-free society. This, they can do by committing their time, resources etc. But first, it’s our duty to make them see and believe in the great possibilities in Disability”.
Furthermore Ojugo advised PWDs to fight for their rights.
“Those of us that are strong should advocate and carry the weak ones along. Together we can build a better Nigeria for PWDs.”
While challenging PWDs to be determined in whatever they set their minds to do or get, she said “Guard against the ‘I can’t mindset’ “.
She went on to encourage them to dare to take part in politics, even outside the disability community.
“I have tried it before when I contested for the post of Vice Chairperson National Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) and I won the seat. Now, that’s something I want for PWDs. I want us to partake in mainstream governance.”
The election was moderated by South South Coordinator of JONAPWD, Mr. Ernest Igbuzor, and monitored by a delegation from the Conference of Non Governmental Organization (CONGOs). The delegation was led by Comrade Bartholomew Okoudo, director of administration. Mrs Ojiugo took oath of office after being declared winner.
INN learnt that Barr. C. J. Nkadi (Mrs.) and Co administered oath of office on the new Executives.