Lawyer calls for policies to protect physically-challenged citizens

A physically-challenged person and trained lawyer, Mrs Catherine Edeh, has called for the introduction of policies that would carter for the welfare of physically-challenged people in the country.

Edeh, who is the founder of a non-governmental organization, ‘Voice of Disability Initiative’ (VDI), made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

She urged government at all levels, to adequately address the challenges facing such persons to enable them explore their potentials.

Citing herself as an example, Edeh explained that having hearing impairment, she could only practice as a lawyer with the help of an interpreter.

“I cannot practice law now because our courts do not have interpreters and I cannot engage the services of an interpreter due to the high cost.

“I will have to pay an interpreter as high as N15, 000 for one day’s job and I cannot afford it but if our courts have interpreters, I will be able to practice as a lawyer, ’’ she said.

Edeh further called on President Muhammadu Buhari  to sign into law, the Disability Rights Bill passed by the 7th National Assembly, saying  her colleagues would be accorded their rights better under such a law.

According to her, physically-challenged persons are not being treated with dignity in public places, adding that it also is particularly very difficult for them to secure employment.

Edeh identified lack of easy access to public transport and public buildings like the courts, banks and hospitals among others, as some of their major challenges.

“Passage of the Nigeria Disability Rights Bill is very important because if implemented, almost all the basic needs of physically-challenged persons will be taken care of,” she said.

Another physically-challenged person who spoke to NAN, Mr Ezekiel Bende, complained of residential apartments not having facilities to suit their  needs.

Bende said he always encountered difficulties accessing his apartment, adding that his landlord’s response to his complaint over staircase facility was not pleasing.

He therefore urged the government to establish a commission that would handle the affairs of physically-challenged persons in the country.

He said the commission would also handle cases of offenders or violators of rights of such persons.


Source: PUNCH

Physically Challenged Persons In Nigera Call For Socio-Economic Inclusion

Issues of disability rights and social inclusiveness have brought together a group of physically challenged persons who staged a protest at the National Assembly.

The disabled persons used the opportunity to demand the passage of the “Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Bill.”

They explained that if Nigeria must become a truly global force in the comity of nations, it must respect and protect the rights of its physically challenged population.

On arriving at the National Assembly, a letter of legislative inputs was submitted to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki by proxy.

One of the members of the group, stated the need for access to infrastructures and according to her, “inclusive education, special education would be discouraged, inclusive transport, inclusive mobility, inclusive health as well as inclusive employment”.

Two senators who met the group on behalf of the Senate President, thanked them for not allowing their disability stand in their way.

Senator John Eno then gave the assurance that the Federal Government would assent to legislation once passed.


Source: Channels TV

Delta State to criminalise discrimination against physically challenged persons

An executive bill that will criminalize abuse of and discrimination against the physically challenged persons will soon be forwarded to the State House of Assembly, the Attorney-General of Delta State and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Peter Mrakpor, has disclosed.

Mrakpor who spoke recently in Asaba when he granted audience to Persons Living with Disability from Delta North Senatorial District assured persons living with disability in the state of government adequate protection of their fundamental rights and against all forms of molestation, discrimination and abuse.

He said that it was the responsibility of government to protect and promote human dignity and rights of all persons in society against torture, harassment, inhuman or degrading treatment, maintained that every individual is entitled to respect irrespective of status and abilities.

The Commissioner who accepted to be the patron of the Delta North Chapter of the association sought their contribution towards the enactment of a law that protects their rights.

While promising to look into a case of an alleged illegal arrest and detention of one of their members, a deaf and dumb by the police who could neither read nor write and cannot speak because of his condition, Mrakpor advised them to report any case of persons living with disability in prison custody for review.

The Coordinator of the group, Ojeme Monday, while presenting several issues that affect Persons Living with Disabilities in the state, thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his empowerment package and monthly stipends for some of their members across the state.


Source: Today