People with disability seek establishment of commission for members in Enugu

In line with the United Nations (UN) principles of leaving no one behind in all spheres of lives, people living with disability in Enugu state, have advocated establishment of a Disability Commission in the state, urging governor Peter Mbah to consider it as a matter of importance and urgency.

According to them, such Commission if put in place, would “ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are protected in all spheres of human lives.

They made the appeal through a communique issued at the end of their 2- day workshop in Enugu, held under the platforms, of Voice of Disability Initiative (VDI), a non-governmental organization that advocates for the protection of rights of persons with disabilities, in collaboration with the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD Enugu State Chapter.

The capacity building workshop on Rights-Based Advocacy for Disability Rights Advocates in Enugu State, was attended by 25 participants, while the Communique was Signed for and onbehalf of, Barr. Catherine Edeh, Executive Director (VDI, Abuja), Mrs. Chidimma Anyaoha (Women Lead, Enugu JONAPWD), and Mr. Onyebuchi Mba (JONAPWD Chairman, Enugu State) and read by the programme Coordinator, Mr
Edward Ogenyi.

They opined that the Disability Commission should be “domiciled directly under the Executive Governor of Enugu State to oversee the affairs of persons with disabilities.

“The workshop which took place at Residency Hotel, Enugu between 4th and 5th June, 2024 brought together, 25 Disability Rights Advocates from Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) and Civil Society Organizations in Enugu State.

It added “The workshop is part of the activities under the 2-Year Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Project being funded by AMPLIFYCHANGE in Kwara, Enugu and Ebonyi States.

While commending the efforts of Enugu State Government for the support being provided to persons with Disabilities, “participants lamented the absence of Disability Commission in Enugu State.

Participants in the communique made available to newsmen Friday “further narrated their ordeal that access to healthcare services for persons with disabilities, especially the deaf, blind and the physically challenged have been compromised due to lack of Disability Support Desks and Sign Language Interpreters in healthcare facilities in Enugu State.

“Recognizing the urgency and the need to ensure that the rights of persons with Disabilities are protected in all spheres of lives and in line with the UN principles of Leaving no One Behind, we are calling on the Executive Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency, Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mba to as a matter of urgency establish the Commission.

The groups also advocated Setting up of Disability Support Desks and engage Sign Language Interpreters in government institutions especially healthcare facilities to enable persons with disabilities, especially the blind, deaf, women with albinism and the physically challenged to access healthcare services.