As part of effort to lift the physically challenged, the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWDs) put together novelty matches to mark 2023 International Day for Persons With Disabilities.
The matches including para-soccer and volleyball which held at the weekend in Abuja triggered excitement as participants received award and prizes.
The result of the para-soccer saw Abuja Team A defeating Abuja Team B 2-1 in the highly entertaining match played inside Moshood Abiola National stadium, Abuja.
The Executive Secretary of the NCPWD, Mr James Lalu, represented by his Technical Assistant, Mohammed Haruna, while speaking called for more support and provision of adequate facilities for people with disabilities in Nigeria.
He spoke of the need to stop discrimination against people with disability.
Haruna, who is also the President, Nigeria National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) said that the Commission was collaborating with relevant stakeholders to create awareness on the rights of people with disability.
“The NCPWD has been doing a lot to sensitise the public on the rights of people with disability and the discrimination against persons with disability (prohibition) Act,” he said.
Earlier, the National President, Nigeria Association of the Blind, Mr Stanley Onyebuchi, stressed the need for more employment opportunities for people with disability.
He described sports as a veritable tool for engaging, empowering and uniting people with disability.
He also commended the NCPWDs for organising the novelty games used to sensitise the public on issues affecting persons with disabilities.
“It is a good thing that we have a day set aside by the UN to celebrate us, but there are still issues when it comes to negligence or discrimination against us,” Onyebuchi said.
“Thank God that we have a commission and act protecting us from this discrimination. We are also trying our in terms of sensitising the general public about the act and the commission is doing well in that regard. The senior special assistant to the president is also doing well, as well as established organisations in sensitizing the public about the provisions of the act.”
Also speaking, former President of Nigeria Deaf Sports federation, Alhaji Usman Ahmed Nahuche, commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his continued support for persons with disabilities, especially with the recent ratification of African Charter on persons with disabilities.
“Thank everyone for the encouragement and support which signifies the success of this programme, celebrated every year for persons with disabilities.
“We thank the president for all the encouragement he has been giving us through the NCPWDs. We need the continued support of the government and also want to thank the president for the ratification of the African Charter on persons with disabilities. It has given us more strength and motivation to achieve our goal,” he said.
As from 1992, the United Nations sets aside every December 3 as the day for People Living with Disabiliti:es in an effort to draw the attention of the world to the plight of the physically challenged persons and to encourage a better understanding of their conditions.
It is also to create a better awareness in respect of their rights, dignity and welfare as well as the benefits of integrating them into every aspect of life, be it economic, political and cultural.
The theme of this year’s commemoration is: “United in Action to Rescue and Achieve the SDGs for, With and By Persons with Disabilities”.
In 2019, Nigeria signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill 2016.
The law provides social protection for persons with disabilities and a cover against any discrimination that they may suffer from.