The Ogun State Government has assured people with disabilities in the State of its commitment to eradicate discrimination and social stigma associated with them.
Wife of the State Governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun gave this assurance while celebrating the International Day of Persons With Disabilities held at the Mission To Rebuild Hall, GRA, Ibara, Abeokuta.
Mrs. Abiodun lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law, an act putting a stop to discrimination of people with disabilities and promised that the State would follow suit and ensure that these special people are well protected.
The First Lady added that there was need to enlighten the vulnerable among those living with disabilities that they were productive and could contribute positively to the society.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Ranti Oladeinde, said, “the main objective and goal of this event was to collectively support and raise sustainable awareness on the critical role that persons with disabilities plays in the day to day activities and development of the world’’.
Dr. Oladeinde added that informing the general public on the importance of giving adequate support and love to persons with disabilities was of high importance.
In his remark, the Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, Ogun State Chapter, Mr. Olalekan Mohammed, called on the State House of Assembly for the quick passage of the bill protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
In her contribution, the keynote speaker, Mrs. Sola Ogunnde, emphasized that disability was not the feature of a person, saying, ‘’in as much as our health impairment could not prevent us from participating in the community’s activities, then, the issue of disabilities should not prevent the disabled from being part of communities’ activities’’.
She said everyone living with disabilities have hidden talents and should have equal rights with those without disabilities, emphasizing the need to nurture the children with disabilities with unconditional love, as “the future is accessible but these people must have hope of a better future for this to be possible”
In her address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary, Secondary and Technical Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, said, standard and quality education cannot be complete without the inclusion of special education, adding that empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities was the major aim of this year’s celebration.