By Justina Simon
The National Chairman of All Progressive Congress, Abdullahi Adamu, has called on President Bola Tinubu to create a ministry for Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
Adamu made the call on Wednesday while playing host to representatives of the PWDs at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja.
At the meeting, Adamu noted that if the women and youths can have ministries, there is no reason why a large constituency like the Persons with Disabilities should not have a ministry where their welfare and sustainability can be looked after.
The group had demanded the creation of the ministry while making a presentation before Adamu and other members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC).
Adamu said his interactions with PWDs have strengthened his belief in their abilities, while noting that they have showcased competence and character and fulfilled the expectations placed upon them.
He further emphasized that including them in various positions would greatly benefit the nation.
“I am happy to receive you. I am happy because it is often a loss for those of us who think we are healthy, and complete and believe God is doing everything for us. We forget that not just disabilities but sickness and headache we don’t go and buy it in the market. Even diarrhea. We don’t go and buy it in the market. Or through a bath or accident. Some are genetical. We are born with it. You just have to find a way to survive.
“Between me and you before God, I never before I became the national chairman of this party, through imagination that Honourable Bankole will bring you to us. I didn’t know we have got so many able persons in PWD. The most difficult thing with disabilities is when you lose your mind. You can think, write and express yourself. You are an asset. You are what I see as a national asset to this country. We are going to more than before double our efforts for you.
“I want to assure you that God helping us, and you will notice that you feel some difference. However, we will try and see how governance can patronise you for board appointments. If every one of you from the 36 states including FCT can get one commissioner, it will go a long way to assuage you that there is at least care. That we care.
” If we do have a ministry, I think this Constituency, PWD, is big enough to be a ministry. We will take whatever steps we deem appropriate when we reach the President. We will convey this message. Because for me, it is a message. And it is my wish that these prayers will succeed. And one of the ministries will be for the PWD”, he said
Earlier, the leader of the PWDs, Tolu Bankole, expressed his satisfaction with the evident commitment to inclusivity and support for PWDs.
He expressed his gratitude to the national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, for promptly providing free nomination forms to PWDs during the sales period. Bankole highlighted the establishment of a Campaign Directorate dedicated to PWDs and the improved accessibility of the party’s secretariat, allowing PWDs to actively participate instead of being mere observers.
Bankole, as the leader of PWDs, said he had personally invested over N30 million in the past year to provide grants and empowerment opportunities to women and men across various PWDs clusters nationwide, fostering financial inclusion.
According to him, ”I awarded bursary and scholarships to PWDs students across the country while I paid for GCE forms of hundreds of SSS 3 students. Campaign mobilization grants and seasonal gifts during Islamic and Christian holidays were extended to zonal and state PWDs leaders nationwide. However, I must admit that your exemplary and sacrificial leadership has spurred me on despite the constraints.
“During the maiden PWDs National Summit which I self-sponsored at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, I made a rallying cry to everyone in a position of leadership that disability is never by choice, and nobody is immune. We are PWDs either by birth, negligence by our parents and guardians, accidents, war, age, disease, or epidemic. I am glad our chairman agrees with this truth.
” But they are dependable and committed to your leadership and the party at all times. I recommend this team of Zonal and State leaders for federal appointments in this administration of our President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR. We pledge our unalloyed loyalty and support to the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR as he renews the hope of Nigerians.
” The APC PWDs National Leadership unanimously pass a vote of confidence on our National Chairman, Distinguished Senator Dr. Abdullahi Adamu, (CON) for his stellar and successful leadership and the members of the National Working Committee”.