By Haruna Usman
Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, CON says the members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum ( NGF) will synergise to provide for the needs of people with disabilities in the country.
The Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum made the promise on Wednesday in his address at the National Da’wah / Conference of the Association of Deaf Muslims in Nigeria held in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.
The move, according to the Governor was to further cater for the well-being of people with disability.
Bagudu said: ” I will write to all the Governors in my capacity as the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum and the leaders of the associations will thereafter be invited.
”We will sit down with them and brainstorm on their challenges. We have been doing a lot for the physically – challenged youths and we will do more.
” They need more interpreters, they need more facilities, Kebbi state has been doing much and we will do more.”
The Kebbi state governor said that the state government has been doing much for children with special needs.
” A good society is where everyone is relevant and feels important. Any disability is not different from another one.
” Disability is not a punishment from God. It is just one step in life and these are people with abundant talents and abilities.
”’Islamic scholars have given us examples of people with special needs who have memorised the Holy Quran and have contributed to Islamic knowledge.
” They have done this more than the people who can read and write. They are therefore not less important,” Bagudu added.
The governor also announced that the state government would provide allowances for all the participants in the programme.
Bagudu said, ” this is in appreciation of the honour and recognition given to the state for being given the hosting right of this all-important conference.
”I am happy that in spite of your challenges, you still feel confident and proud to come here and associate with us.”
Earlier, Sulaiman Dagbo the National President of the Association of Deaf Muslims in Nigeria ( ADMUN) expressed immense delight with the presence of the Governor at the 31st Edition of the Annual National Da’wah / Conference of the association.
According to him, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu was the second Governor to attend their meeting and the only Governor to attend the meeting ( yesterday and today).
He said the delegates of the Deaf Muslims Association gathered in Kebbi state to discuss as well as share knowledge on religious events and express love for one another as Muslims.
The meeting charts the new way forward for the members of the association and look at some of the challenges facing the association.
The association he said has three categories, national, state and local government working to entrench Islamic knowledge and also train members to be equipped with leadership qualities
The National President, further said that during their meeting, they would appraise activities and achievements recorded by the association to make it public to the Muslim Ummah.
Alhaji Sulaiman Dagbo thanked Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for his support, care and love for persons with disability, particularly with regard to their educational pursuits.
He appealed to the governor to establish a special education committee comprising of representatives of the deaf, the blind, and the physically challenged with the representation of the Ministry of Education to advise the government on the education and learning of disabled persons from primary to tertiary level.
He also requested on behalf of the association for the establishment of economic empowerment committee for people with disability to mobilize Muslims with disabilities on Da’wah activities as well as the establishment of a committee of persons with disabilities in the emirates.
The National President made a passionate appeal to Governor Bagudu for the training and employment of interpreters to work in Government houses, hospitals, television Stations and Courts so as to carry their members along.
The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Hon Hassan Muhammad Shalla welcomed all delegates to Kebbi State.
He told the delegates how the governor has been assisting and supporting people with disability and special needs in the state almost on daily basis.
He commended the governor for rehabilitating the school for persons with special needs in the State, providing free uniforms and feeding to students with special needs.
Shalla further explained that the governor has engaged two consultants from the University Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri for treatment of people whose condition of disabilities could be redeemed, and now receiving treatment at the hospital in Maiduguri.
In his goodwill message, the President of the National Joint Association for people with disability, Abdullahi Aliyu Musa described Kebbi Governor as the most friendly Governor to people with disability.
He said the association of persons with disability has six clusters and the Association of Deaf is part and parcel of the main association for the disabled in the country.
He equally requested the governor to provide a vehicle to the association and employ interpreters in the state.
The Principal of Dr Amina Abubakar Government Girls College, Birnin Kebbi, Hajiya Salamatu Tafida and one of the guest lecturers, Malam Gaddafi Shehu all appreciated the efforts of the Governor towards the welfare of the people with disability in the State.
Highlights of the program were recitation and prayer by Sheik Abubakar Giro Argungu as well as questions and comments from participants to the Governor which he responded in his speech.
The theme of the conference is “The Role of Muslim Ummah amidst socio-economic and insecurity menace”
The Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Babale Umar Yauri mni, Sheikh Abubakar Giro Argungu among others attended the programme.