By Chukwudi Ndubeze
The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Anambra State Chapter has rated Anambra state Governor, Willie Obiano as the most disability friendly Governor in the country following his giant strides in the disability community in the state.
The recognition was made by the state Chairman of the Association, Ugochukwu Okeke during a press briefing at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, Wednesday, in commemoration of the Governor Willie Obiano’s seventh year anniversary as the executive Governor the state.
Describing Obiano’s love for persons with disabilities as unparalleled, Ugochukwu who is also a member of Anambra State Capital Expenditure Bilateral Discussion Committee extolled the Governor for what he described as selfless service and dedication to the welfare of persons with disabilities in the state.
He said that the Governor has demonstrated deep concern for the economic welfare of the People with Disabilities (PWD) with various appointment of qualified PWD into the state civil service which he said puts smiles on the faces of the beneficiaries.
www.odogwublog.com recalls that the Governor on 18th December ,2018 had signed the Disability Rights law, thereby changing the issue of Disability rights from object of charity to a subject of right which has ensured safety of the group members from discrimination and intimidation in the state.
He however, commended Obiano for following that move with the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in his 2021 budget as well as increasing budget provisions to take care of the the needs of the Disabilities in the state, a demonstration he said is a clear sign of belief of ability in disability.
Earlier, during the briefing, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Disability Matters, Barr. Chuks Ezewuzie extolled Obiano’s empowerment initiative aimed at equipping People With Disabilities with requisite skills to fend for themselves as well as include them in the governance of the state.
Barr. Ezewuzie said Obiano set a standard by the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in his government stating that gone are the days when People with disabilities were seen as beggars on the streets. He said that Willie Obiano changed peoples’ perception of Disabilities by turning the them into effective part of the state workforce.
Ezewuzie who stated that the seven letters of ‘ Empower’ defined Obiano’s seven years of giant strides commended the Governor for choosing to to show Persons with disabilities ‘how to fish’ through his empowerment programmes adding that such initiative had helped bridge the gap of opportunities for the Disabilities in the state.
He recalled that Governor Obiano employed several persons with Disabilities into the state civil service workforce and even promoted civil servants with disabilities who he said had stagnated in various positions.
He also stated that the governor employed five sign language interpreters to facilitate ease of communication for the deaf in the state including employment of three computer and Braille instructors whose services was to enhance productivity of the employed persons with disabilities.
Meanwhile, Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Utilities and Water Resources, Mr Victor Meju appreciated the governor for the opportunities it gave to some of the persons with disability to participate in government.