President Muhammadu Buhari has called on state governments and other stakeholders to
Buhari made the call on Tuesday in a message to mark the 2019 World Disability Day held at the Comprehensive Special School in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
The theme for the day was “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’’.
The President was represented by Dr Samuel Ankeli, his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on disability matters.
He stressed the need for government and all stakeholders to pay more attention to the needs of the physically challenged to enable them fulfill their dreams in life.
He maintained that given the necessary support and empowerment, people with disabilities have potentials to be self reliant and contribute to societal development like their able-bodied counterparts.
Buhari explained that marking the day has become imperative aimed at promoting their rights and well-being as well as increase awareness on their disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
He said the choice of Nasarawa to mark the 2019 event was in recognition of the state government’s benevolence towards the plight of the physically challenged and to encourage the government to do more.
Similarly, Hajiya Farida Sule, wife of the Nasarawa State Governor, stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to address the challenges facing people with disabilities.
She commended President Buhari for signing into law the anti discrimination against persons with disabilities Act as a way of promoting their activities in the country.
Sule, therefore, urged the governor to give people with disability special priority, especially in the area of political appointments in order to give them a sense of belonging.
Mrs Baerbel Jaja, Head of the Comprehensive Special School, Lafia said that the physically challenged had potentials to do great things when properly guided.
She however, noted that the education and empowerment of pupils with disabilities was expensive, hence the need for support from all stakeholders.
Jaja said that the vision for the establishment of the special school was to create a model school for the persons with disabilities.
She said the school currently needed intervention funds to the tune N100 million to provide basic facilities, instructional materials and assisting technologies and vocational skills training centre.
Jaja said that the school enrolled 468 persons within the three sections of the school namely: multiple disorder, visual impairment and hearing impairment.
She added that the school had a teacher to four pupil ratio in view of the special needs.
The school head appealed for the support of the vulnerable people living with disabilities.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the UN General Assembly resolution 47/3.
The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
NAN reports that the event featured special songs rendition, drama and display of craft by the pupils with special needs. (NAN)