As the world celebrates the 2021 International Day of Persons living with Disability, the Honorable Speaker of Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP), Rt. Hon. Rikki Nwajiofor, has called on Nigerians to always give the persons living with disability (PWDs) a maximum sense of belonging.
Addressing the media on Friday, Hon. Nwajiofor called on the government at all levels to always put the PWDs into consideration while constructing any edifice so as to make government offices accessible to them. He lamented on the inaccessibility of most of the government offices, facilities and hotels. He equally called on construction companies and Engineers to create accessible entrances for persons on wheelchairs. He said;
“As the world celebrates the 2021 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITY (PWD), I urge us all to give them maximum sense of belonging. I advocate for their inclusivity in all the strata of life and activities in our society. They should never be discriminated against but given a fair playing ground, putting their condition into consideration.
“I call on construction companies and Engineers to put the persons with disability (PWDs) into consideration while erecting edifices. Accessible entrances should be created for persons on wheelchairs. There should be ramps in all the public buidlings; offices, hotels, churches and the likes.
“I equally call on all the government parastatals and agencies to always include the PWDs in all their programs. They should be given slots to attend every program organized by the government. Equally, the choice of the event locations should be PWD friendly. Any location chosen for any government function or program should have ramp and accessible entrance for persons on wheelchairs. It gives an ugly sight to see them being carried undignifiedly into events, especially in government functions.
“I’m aware that a law has been enacted, which mandates all the hotels, offices and public places to create accessible entrances for the persons on wheelchairs. I earnestly wish to see this law being put to pragmatic effect. The PWDs have equal rights with every other citizen, they are entitled to enjoy the good life that an average citizen enjoys.
“There is ability in disability; most of them are quite amazingly creative, innovative, proactive and undaunted. They need to be empowered and encouraged. Above all, they need to be given equal opportunities and given a fair playing ground to excel, putting into consideration their condition and plight.
“May God continue to strengthen them and give them the grace to see reasons to live their life in full blossom, their disability notwithstanding”.