By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
An appeal has gone to President Muhammadu Buhari from the people with disability to, as a matter of urgency, assent the disability bill before him.
The appeal was conveyed in the message of a former Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Disability, Prince Paul Adelabu, during the state’s commemoration of World Disability Day, held at the Western Hall, Secretariat, Ibadan.
While speaking with newsmen at the programme, Adelabu hinted that it was noteworthy to inform the public that the first law of the disability in Nigeria has passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives, adding that the bill had been passed to the president for accent.
He added that with the signing of the bill, persons living with disability would no longer be demanding for their rights on the account of charity, but on the account of law.
“When we talk of the disability right, it means we are no more demanding for our right on the account of charity, not on the account of being a person living with disability, but we are now demanding on the account of law.
“So, if you insult me, I have a law to take it upon. Right now, people are treating disability with charity. When you give something to a person with disability, you celebrate it. You don’t need to celebrate it, it is their right.
“A person who is crawling has a right to the wheelchair. So if you see somebody crawling in the streets, instead of sympathising with them, just move closer to them and ask, what can I do for you? Can I give you a wheelchair, so you will not crawl again? God did not create anybody to be crawling.
“When you see a fellow human being crawling, it means the government and the society are not performing their duties and rights. And that is why government is empowering them with mobility aids, in form of wheelchairs and crutches. Even the blinds have recorders. These are the things government is doing.
“I want to use the opportunity through the media to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the bill. The bill is our right. In the bill, we have access to education, we have access to medical and we also have employment quota.
Adelabu expressed reservation that, “Many people with disability are unemployed, demanding for five or ten employment quota to be allocated to the people with disability.
“If you don’t give people with disability that opportunity, that is discrimination against them and we will issue a letter of discrimination against people with disability.”
He urged the public to create an avenue to care for people with disability, not on the account of sympathy, but on the account of empathy and understanding the issues of disability.
“Carry the message that we are waiting for the bill. Once the bill is out, every disabled person will not weep again. Disability will become an issue we will be celebrating in the country,” he said optimistically.