By Adebisi Onanuga
Activist-lawyer, Debo Adeleke has said that the disability rights law in Nigeria is grossly ineffective and has failed to address the challenges facing physically challenged persons.
Adeleke, who is the founder of the Physically Challenged Aid Foundation (PCAF), noted that people who suffer physical challenges made no input into the law, adding that the law was politically motivated.
According to him, some individuals and corporate organisations like educational institutions are still relegating and exhibiting discrimination against the physically challenged persons especially in the schools and other social centres .
“Many states are yet to implement the Disability Rights Law as we still experience unfair treatment, injustice, relegation and discrimination”, he lamented.
He, however, commended Lagos State which he noted is one of the few states in Nigeria that identifies with physically challenged persons.
According to him :”Lagos policy is physically challenged friendly. But the House of Assembly of Lagos needs to be more proactive.
“Right now, PCAF is trying to make the Executive Governor of Lagos State to be our inspirational Patron and Ambassador of Hope but our request is yet to be responded to.
The PCAF founder said the foundation had once sent a comprehensive paper to Lagos State House of Assembly through the office of The Honourable Speaker, Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, seeking the patronage and ambassadorship of the state governor but that no reply has been forthcoming.
“We believe that with His Excellency as our Patron, it would be easier to table our problems and possibly partners with Lagos State Government”, he said.
He said the involvement of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the activities PCAF is a top priority of the foundation.
He said their desire was borne out of the governor’s passion and compassion for the physically challenged persons and the downtrodden in the state.
He added that it would tell better on the society if the persons with physical disabilities and downtrodden are given due attention and necessary support.
He said PCAF would continue to encourage physically challenged persons to continue to forge ahead in life despite their disabilities and to turn their adversities to advantage, stressing that they have a lot to contribute to the society.
He advised those who “relegate, despise and unleash inhumane acts” on physically challenged persons to desist saying that such is against humanity and divinity.
He challenged all persons with disability to break the jinx of every barrier placed on them adding, “we are not limited from achieving our goals, of course disabilities are not inabilities. All we demand is fairness, justice and very humane dispositions from all and Sundry.”
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