A strict adherence to the Lagos State Special People’s Law; full implementation of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Law of Nigeria, and a relentless pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are key factors towards realizing the quest for a sustainable future for the Deaf and other categories of PWDs.
Furthermore, the Government is called upon to take the act of governance seriously, eschew corruption/corrupt practices and stop paying lip/eye services even as it musters the political will to ensure the common good.”
The above observation was made by keynote speaker, Mr. Adewale Adeyanju, Public Relations Officer (PRO) JONAPWD Lagos State Chapter and Secretary General, Lagos State APC Deaf Support Group at the first ever celebration of Deaf Awareness Day held at Surulere Local Government Council Primary Healthcare Centre, 35 Akerele Street Surulere, Lagos.
The event was organized by the Surulere Deaf Association (SDA) on Thursday 25 July, 2022.
Delivering his lecture at the occasion, Adeyanju noted that the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has turned the world into a global village”. Any event happening anywhere in the world can now easily be accessed on the internet. “People follow and monitor reports from all corners of the globe”, he said.
While commending efforts of members of the Surulere Deaf Association and the Executive Chairman, Surulere Local Government Council – Hon. Bamidele Suleiman Yusuf for the support and approval which made the event a reality, he called attention to the theme of the occasion: “Deaf and Sustainable Development Goals” which confirms that Surulere and its people are concerned with better future for all stakeholders.
According to him, “Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed as blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”.
He added that the SDGs were set up in 2015 by United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA) and are intended to be achieved by 2030. They are included in a UN-GA policy called the 2030 Agenda or what is colloquially known as Agenda 2030. The SDGs were developed in the Post-Development Agenda as the future global development framework to succeeded the Millennium Development Goals which ended in 2015.
“SDGs Goals are broad and interdependent and were made more “actionable” by a UN Resolution adopted by the General Assembly. The resolution identifies specific targets for each goal, along with indicators that are being used to measure progress toward each target. Monitoring is also facilitated by a variety of tools used to track and visualize progress towards the goals” he stressed.
Explaining further on the SDGs, Mr. Adeyanju canvasses that Local Government Councils being closest to citizens at the grassroots levels, should work for realization of the SDG Goals to make the future sustainable for citizens.
He observed that some goals, for example, Goal No. 1 which is to “End Poverty in all its forms, everywhere” and Goal No. 2: to “End hunger, achieve food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”, can be realized if the Deaf are included in policy and programmes at Local Government level through employment opportunities and empowerment.
In his words: “Deaf people are capable of harnessing their potentials and putting the same into use. There are Deaf farmers who should be supported and encouraged. Likewise, there are diverse artisans and business persons who need some form of help or another – for example, tools, equipment and funds to carry on their works.
Adeyanju maintains that “Goal No. 3 which is to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” and Goal No. 4 which is to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” required that Local Government provides accessible healthcare services including assisting with sign language interpreters at the Primary Healthcare Centre facilities in the Local Government Areas. On the other hand, education of the Deaf should be encouraged by giving scholarships to indigent students.
“Overall, the SDGs Goals will only work as intended if Government and Leaders eschew corruption and corrupt practices, allowed inclusive participation of persons with disabilities, and creating avenues for employment opportunities to stem the tide of poverty. Education should be funded and healthcare services made accessible to the citizens”, he concluded.
Earlier, the Chairman, Surulere Deaf Association (SDA) – Nwadiogbu Godwin, in his speech expressed the Association members gratitude to the Chairman of the Surulere Local Government Council – Hon. Bamidele Suleiman Yusuf, the Council Manager, HOD Agriic Department and staff of the Local Government for identifying with deaf people. He also thanked the immediate former Chairman of the Local Government Council – Hon. Tajudeen Ajide and several individuals who assisted in making the event a reality.
“We are grateful to Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, National Assembly, Hon. Olusola Elliott, Hon. Sangodara Rotimi both members of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Also we thank the Executive Chairman, Surulere Local Government Council for the free GCE Forms, JAMB Forms, free healthcare programmes and many others enjoyed in Surulere.
Nwadiogbu however raised concern that since Itire-Ikate and Coker/Aguda LCDA were excised from Surulere LGA, Deaf people in the three Councils have been trying to work together and present a common front but there are challenges. Support is therefore needed.
The association chairman appealed for employment opportunities and empowerment for members. According to him, there are those who need vocational training skills as well as those in different vocation and trades needing funds and capital to successfully carry on their trades.
Explaining why the Association chose SDGs Goals as theme for the event, the Chairman explained that since all over the world SDGs are used as index for measuring human growth and development, the Surulere Local Government Council, as a grassroot administration should reach out to the Deaf and give them a sense of belonging.
Nwadiogbu reiterated the slogan “nothing about us without us” and “leave no one behind” to buttress inclusive participation of the Deaf.
Responding on behalf of the Surulere Local Government Council and the Executive Chairman, the HOD Agricultural Department – Mr. Ogunbadejo Ibrahim assured members of the Deaf Association that their requests are being compiled and will be sent to the Executive Chairman and Legislative Council for assent.
He assured that they are always welcome as the current administration operates an open door policy and is accessible to all.
Commendable and very timely. I am happy and proud of the work you all are doing to advance equally and accessibility for all of us.