By Hindi Livinus
The member representing Hong constituency, Barthiya Wesley, has emerged Speaker of the 8th Adamawa State House of Assembly. Wesley was elected unopposed.
Similarly, Buba Mohammed Jijiwa of Jada Mbulo also emerged as Deputy Speaker unopposed.
Barthiya becomes the first person with physical disability to be elected leader of a legislature, a key fulcrum of government.
Though he was not born with a disability, Barthiya survived a crash earlier in life that left him with one of his arms amputated.
The UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in its 61st session of the General assembly by resolution A/RES/61/106 states the criteria that establish disability.
It says persons with disabilities include those who have long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments, which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
The election, therefore, of Barthiya as Speaker of a key strata of government at the sub-national level represents a major milestone for a category of persons demanding inclusion and protection through the promulgation of various instruments of the law to enable them to enjoy full equality under the law.
Hon. Barthiya, a second term lawmaker elected under the Peoples Democratic Party, takes over as Speaker of the 8th Assembly from Hon. Aminu Iya-Abass following his elevation as Senator representing Adamawa Central Zone in the National Assembly.
Barthiya, who was elected in 2019, emerged as one of the youngest lawmakers ever elected into the state legislature in his late 30s and made his mark through exceptional representation and unmatched constituency project delivery for his Hong Constituency, a feat that was rewarded with massive margin of wins for the PDP in the 2023 general elections.