This is to appeal to AkwaIbom State Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Udom not to leave AkwaIbomites with disabilities behind in the distribution of relief materials and palliatives to all villages in AkwaIbom State. It is obvious that Persons with Disabilities are the worst affected as a result of the lockdown occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.
We urge the Governor of AkwaIbom Sate to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and protection of Persons with Disabilities as clearly stated in Section 25 of the Nigeria Disability Law.
The AkwaIbom State government plans to send palliatives to all villages in AkwaIbom State to assist residence during lockdown in the State. As such we urge the government to ensure that Persons with Disabilities are given priority in the distribution of these relief materials.
This appeal is very important as the AkwaIbom State Government is yet to sign the state Disability Law that prohibits discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization and marginalization of Persons with Disabilities thereby living thousands of Persons with Disabilities unprotected in AkwaIbom State.
We call on the Akwa Ibom State Government as a matter of urgency to consult organizations of persons with disabilities in the State for support in this regard, include sign language interpreters and disability desk officers in its 300 bed Isolation Centre in Ituk Mbang and other Isolation Centres in Ikot Ekpene and Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo and Coronavirus testing laboratories to make the process disability compliant.
Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) would be monitoring the extent of access and inclusion of AkwaIbomites with disabilities in the distribution of these relief materials. It is our interest to document and disseminate findings to local and international organisations working on democratic governance, international development co-operation, human rights and disability issues with the view of attracting policy attention to the long neglected issue of the rights of persons with disabilities.
David O. Anyaele