By Umar Saleh Burra, Bauchi
Bauchi state is noted for having the highest number of Persons with Disabilities in the Northeast zone. The State also boasts a huge number of PWDs with Permanent Voters Card (PVC) in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.
This writer highlights reasons why the State Governor needs to do more for Bauchi PWDs to persuade them to support his second term ambition, more so as the 2023 general elections draws closer.
Firstly, His Excellency Bala Abdulkhadir Muhammad deserves to be commended by all PWDs in Bauchi State for appointing our brother, Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed, a Deaf person into his cabinet as Chairman of Bauchi State Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
INN reports that since Ibrahim’s appointment by the Governor, PWDs in Bauchi State have been hoping to see more of such in various positions within the Governor’s cabinet.
It is general consensus that if PWDs are given equal chance they are capable of making informed contributions to the overall development and progress of the State by bringing their wealth of experience to bear on State administration.
The writer believes that the current breed of old people which constitute a greater bulk of cabinet members is a cause for concern. They are docile lot who seem comfortable with mediocrity. It’s obvious that these people are yet to appreciate the hallmarks of leadership and what it entails.
The need therefore arises for the Governor to appoint a Youth PWD with the portfolio of Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the Governor on Disability matters. Such can give our teeming youth PWD population a sense of belonging and inclusion within the government. It will also facilitate good governance and spur hordes of youthful PWDs to support the administration.
More so, will also strengthen involvement of more disabled youths in Governor Bala’s electioneering campaigns. These will work closely with others to ensure Persons with Disability shun all forms of electoral violence in the forthcoming general elections.
Interestingly, among the myriads of benefits that will be enjoyed by PWDs should such prestigious position be given one of them includes being closer to government, protection against impersonators and fake organizations of Persons with Disabilities to request assistance on behalf of PWDs, etc.
Moreover, the Bauchi State Government should borrow a leaf from states like Gombe, Lagos, Kano and Plateau where the position of SSA on Disability matters is functional and providing excellent services to the PWD community in their respective States.
In conclusion, having a Youth SSA on Disability Affairs in Bauchi State, one who is an active member of an association of PWD within the State will be advantageous to the Government in avoiding fraudulent requests while making for better advice on genuine, PWDs related matters.
Umar Saleh Burra writes from Azare, Bauchi State, North Eastern Nigeria.