Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State and the speaker of the state house of assembly, Aminu Iya Abbas, have been urged to appoint Persons Living With Disability (PLWD), as special advisers.
The call was articulated at a one day strategic interactive session between PLWD, political party leaders and government officials responsible for implementing PWD programmes at AUN hotel, Thursday.
The programme organized by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), seeks to explore avenues for the inclusion of PLWD in political and economic activities of the government in order to address the germane concerns of exclusion and economic despondency among PLWD.
A press conference addressed by the women leader, Joint National Association of People Living With Disability, Adamawa State chapter, Barrister Salamatu Abdullahi, shortly after the session, acknowledged the efforts put by previous governments in appointing PLWD as special advisers, the implementation of free education for them and the recent election of a person with disability in Adamawa State house of assembly.
Abdullahi however advocated for the mainstreaming and inclusion of PLWD in political and economic activities and presented a seven point request to the government.
Abdullahi called for: “The appointment of Persons with Disability who understand the challenges of their colleagues as special adviser to the governor and the speaker of the house of assembly.
” The strengthening of the offices of the State Disability leaders in political parties and appointment of disability representatives in political parties that do not have disability leadership structure.
“Rehabilitation of government owned blind workshops and the creation of fine craft center for the blind in the state.
” Rehabilitation of the special schools and the creation of an additional special school in the central senatorial zone.
“A review of the current status of the Adamawa State Disability Bill that will address the challenges of inaccessibility, communication, economic empowerment and the prevalent social discrimination.
” Provision of adequate funding to the Garkida specialist hospital for lepers and adequate funding of primary healthcare systems to cater for the special needs of persons with disability.
“Political parties should encourage the participation of persons with disability in party processes and provide incentives for their emergence as party officials and candidates at all levels.”
The women leader added that PLWD are determined to engage with political and religious leaders in the state to seek support on ways to increase the political and economic opportunities available to them across the state.
She also urged PLWD to join and participate actively in political processes adding that “This will increase understanding of the party and governance process and increase their chances of being elected/appointed to political offices.”