It was a season of joy and fanfare as the National Headquarters of the Nigerian National Association of the Deaf NNAD celebrated 50 golden years of existence in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
The occasion, which witnessed active participation of 27 State branches of the association from across the country provide a platform to the apex Deaf body to harmonize series of people-oriented programs that added substance to the event.
INN authoritatively gathered that there were extensive deliberations on topical issues pertaining to development of the Nigerian Deaf community at the event’s opening ceremony held immediately after a press conference session on Thursday, September 22nd.
Speaking during the formal opening ceremony of the program, President of the Nigerian National Association of the Deaf, NNAD, Hon Dr. Chidi Olujie, appreciated Almighty God for making it possible for NNAD to reach 50 golden years of active struggle for the liberation of Deaf Nigerians.
The NNAD President, visibly moved by the level of commitment and cooperation given to the current crop of executives under his leadership used the occasion to appreciate efforts of the Nasarawa State branch leaders for their effort in successfully hosting the Lafia event.
Chidi said: “let me use this opportunity to express our deepest appreciation to our Nasarawa State brothers for their big contribution to the successful hosting of this year’s AGM. I pray God reward you for the services rendered. I also appreciate the support and contribution of Nasarawa State Government towards success of the programme.
Keynote address at the ceremony was delivered by the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, NCPWD, Mr. James Lalu.
Lalu represented by the commission’s Director for Social Integration, Mr. Lawrence Idemudia congratulated NNAD for reaching 50 golden years of uninterrupted dedication to Deaf and Deaf causes.
He went on to note that this is a period of collective reflection and appreciation of the gallant contributions of NNAD’s founding fathers who sacrificed their time, energy and resources to make the apex Deaf Association of Nigeria what it is today. In his words: “some of these heroes died in active selfless service to the Deaf long ago”.
The Executive Secretary further reiterated the commission’s commitment towards ensuring an inclusive community for all PWDs. He stressed that the NCPWD, under his watch, will continue to partner with NNAD to build a prosperous future for the Deaf.
Furthermore, He used the opportunity to admonish all members on the importance of unity. He said: “I encourage the Deaf Community to stand firm to support the NNAD’s mandate to achieve the lofty objectives of making Nigerian Sign Language recognized by the authorities as a ligua – franca among the comity of languages in the country”.
“We must unite to achieve our common objectives, we must look deeper into the past to build a prosperous future for all”, he added.
Included in the activities of NNAD’s 50 years anniversary were the Deaf youth summit, Deaf women Summit, AGM, presentation of awards, Gala night and a novelty football match.
The event witnessed participation of host of dignitaries, including the representatives of Ministry of women Affairs, Nasarawa State, NCPWD, NGOs, CBOs, Ministry of Education, Nasarawa State and media personnel, etc.