The Nigerian National Association of the Deaf has inaugurated new executives and board of trustees. Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Mr. James Lalu and Chairperson, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Ekaete Judith Umoh have both reaffirmed their commitment to support the association in its programmes and events.
This was disclosed in a virtual meeting organized by Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) last week.
Mr. James Lalu, in his welcome address congratulated the newly sworn-in executives. He referred to the last election in Kano as one of the most peaceful elections of the decade.
Lalu, who expressed pride at being a member of NNAD and the Executive Secretary of NCPWD assured of the Commission’s strong partnership and collaboration. He reiterated the Commission’s support for the development of a National Sign Language.
He added “We should have the ability to fund this process. I’m happy this program is going to start this year and together we will do everything possible to support you.
“I thank Chidi Olujie for conceiving the idea of Video Relay Service (VRS) using Sign language to ease communication between deaf and hearing people on mobile devices. We are 100% ready to support its success.
“I assure you that in our collaborative programs both local and international with NCPWD, we will carry NNAD along. NNAD won’t just be a beneficiary, it will be engaged in important decision making processes, likewise all clusters.
James also called on NNAD executives and members alike to stand in unity and support the leaders to ensure it succeeds.
Ms. Ekaete Judith Umoh congratulated NNAD for the successful elections. She assured of JONAPWD’s support in NNAD’s plans.
Ekaete Umoh said: “JONAPWD is in support of what NNAD is doing, I just listened to the Executive Secretary,ES’s speech on Sign language development in Nigeria. I join the ES to affirm our support of all NNAD plans to do.”
Umoh recalled her promise in 2014 when she first got elected into office, then, she promised to build a strong partnership between JONAPWD and NNAD. I have not failed in my promise, she noted.
Speaking further she said “the partnership still stands, and we are looking into the area of empowerment. If we have NNAD as an institution, we can also have very strong individuals in NNAD. Be sure of our continuous support.”
Umoh spoke of the close bond she struck with NNAD President, Chidi Olujie when they met in 2019 in New York, USA. She then urged the Deaf community to support him.
“We all need to support him because the way I see NNAD under his leadership, in the next 5 years, the Association will be far much stronger than it presently is.”
Emphasizing on the importance of communication between both bodies, the JONAPWD boss said: don’t stop communicating with us because you are one of our strong support.”
Hon. Chidi Topaz Olujie in his remarks, thanked the Executive Secretary and JONAPWD for their supports. He expressed NNAD’s readiness to collaborate and work with everyone while vowing to accept any offer of collaboration and give support where needed.
Chidi also thanked the executives and Board of Trustees for their interest in the affairs of NNAD. He remarked that the Excos had worked together to poll in opinions which birthed the VRS.
Expressing happiness at the NCPWD scribe’s promise of support for the VRS project, Chidi reaffirmed his conviction that the project will be our breakthrough in Nigeria. He also assured that with the project, many things will be brought to Nigeria.
The NNAD boss called on everyone with ideal projects and desiring partnership with NNAD to contact the Association for collaboration. “We are not independent, nor are we a one man show. We can work with everyone”, Chidi said.