The Abia State governor, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu on 9th May, 2023 appointed Mr. Eldad Monu, the pioneer, Chairman of Abia State Disability Commission along with a governing board, representing major clusters of Disability, who will work together to steer the affairs of the commission and implement the Abia State Disability Rights Law, 2022.
However, there are things you probably didn’t know about the new chairman.
Inclusive News Network has gathered information that may help give you the ideas of who he is and what to expect from him.
El-dad Monu, a graduate of the University of Illorin, Nigeria, is a prolific writer and public speaker, a passionate consultant and mentor, an avid advocate of inclusive education, governance and socio-economic development for persons with disabilities and minority groups, and a competent public administrator with over 10 years of experience in both government parastatals and NGO’s. He has received multiple awards and recognitions from reputable entities.
Becoming deaf at the age of four (4), the following years through specialist- primary, secondary, and mainstream public university education was a hellish experience for him. But in all he has achieved a good deal by God’s grace alone.
Before his appointment as the Chairman of the Abia Disability Commission, El-dad has been concurrently serving as the Founder and CEO of El-New Hope Foundation (2013 – till date); a General Director of Chidi Topaz Olujie Foundation (2018 -till date); the Assistant Director to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Possibility Ministry, Eastern Nigeria Union Conference (2016-till date), Vice President of Pan African Sign Language Dictionary Committees (PASLC) of Seventh-Day Adventist Church (2018 – till date); the Chairman of Abia State Deaf Association (2019-till date). His overarching responsibilities are to strategize, implement and enlighten the local community and general public, church, and the government on inclusiveness and the right of persons with disabilities, in accordance with the United Nations-CRPD and Sustainable Development Goal. More so, he is tasked with organising and implementing empowerment projects aimed at reducing struggles, joblessness, homelessness and street begging amongst persons with disabilities and disadvantaged groups.
His leadership journey began at University of Ilorin where he participated in different leaderships to demonstrate his capability and contribution to the wellbeing of Deaf and disabled students. At the level of Students Union Government (SUG), he was the first among two Deaf students (2009/10 session) to be elected to the House of Students Representative Council (SRC) representing the interests and rights of Deaf and Disabled Students in University of Ilorin and its environs.
During El-dad’s NYSC at University of Calabar (UNICAL), he served as the first inaugural presidents of the Unical Community Development Services and National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) for Disadvantaged Group Development (NFDGD) which both function as a Community Development Service of Cross River State NYSC (2012 – 2013). With help from his team, El-dad formulated and implemented strategic plans to guide the direction of UNICAL CDS and NFDGD. Through UNICAL CDS and NFDGD, he advocated and facilitated the improvement of the Special Education Department, admission of disabled students, and promoted a smooth relationship between the University of Calabar and the Nigeria National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). At the end of his service, he was awarded a State Governor’s Merit Award for the outstanding performance.
Being an Assistant Director of Adventist Possibility Ministry, Eastern Nigeria Union Conference (ENUC) of Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the duty exposed him to the perspectives of the church role needed to actualize inclusive religious service, education for the disability and disadvantaged communities since 2016. He was appointed by the World Church Body to carry out the Ministry in Nigeria that saw the increasing number of Sign Language Interpreters, deaf and disabled membership, human capacity building, etc across the ENUC territory and beyond.
His activities at the Chidi Topaz Olujie Foundation provides him with a viewpoint of the needs and expectations of fellow disabled persons, widows, youth and minority groups within His jurisdiction.
El-dad assisted the Honourable Commissioner for Education in developing, monitoring and implementing the Special Education policy and system for existing deaf schools, students and staff in Abia State, Nigeria. He has petitioned and succeeded in the employment of more deaf teachers in deaf-specialist schools within the state. He has also contributed at the Stakeholders programme for Abia State Long-term Development on Special Education.
He has been on an advocacy campaign course for the enactment of Disability Law in Abia State since 2014 when he led out the street rally and sensitisation in Aba on 3rd December in commemoration of the World Disabled Day in collaboration with the Great Abia in View (GAIV). Working with Dr Chidi Olujie on Disability Bill that saw his constituency representative Hon Paul Taribo the Deputy Majority Leader of Abia State House of Assembly accepted the proposal where he chaired on it. Today the Disability bill has been signed into law last year October, 2022.
One of the greatest achievements was the organisation of First Abia State Disability Summit and Entrepreneurial Exhibition in collaboration with the Abia State Government on 9th and 10th March, 2021 that saw the presence of Mr James Lalu the Executive Secretary of National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) at the event urging the Governor to pass the Disability Bill into law.
His foundation, El-New Hope Foundation, also worked with Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) an anchor of Advocacy for Disability Act Cluster (ADAC) sponsored by USAID and implemented by Palladium to advocate for the implementation of Disability Law in the State. Upon the enactment of Disability Law on 11th October 2022 by the Abia State Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, they paid an advocacy visit to the Executive Governor on 7th February 2023 to advocate for the establishment of the Disability Commission to ensure full implementation of the Disability law signed by him.
He was an aspirant of Obingwa LGA Chairmanship in 2020 under the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). His aim was to demonstrate the significance of good governance and dividends of democracy to all citizens.
Having inaugurated as the Chairman of the Abia State Disability Commission along with board colleagues on 9th May 2023, he believed that the establishment of the Disability Commission and their appointment are a greatest gift ever given to the Disability community in Abia State by the Governor Dr Okezie.
El-dad also believed that the interests and rights of persons with Disabilities in the state have been granted and protected. His vast experience in Disability advocacy both locally and internationally will help him to achieve more laudable goals for the wellbeing and happiness of people with Disabilities, their families, and communities in line with the Disability law and International standards.
He has developed a packaged agendas along with his board members that will help the Commission to perform excellently and effectively while asking all PWDs and well meaning people of the State to come together in orderly manner and give the Commission all the support to overcome both foreseeing and unforeseen circumstances.