AMINA ANEBI, Kaduna
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Women with Disability Self Reliance Foundation, has called for media support in the area of creating awareness and sensitisation of citizens on the State Disabilities Law.
Executive Director of the group, Risikat Toyin Muhammad, made this call during a meeting with media professionals organised by the group with support from Sightsavers and Jalad Media Concept in Kaduna
She said the objectives of the meeting were to present the State Disabilities Law to media professionals; and get their support in sensitising citizens on the Law.
“This will help the media understand the objectives of the engagement; build their capacity around the Law and also identify opportunities for engagement,” she said.
According to her, when a document is bulky majority of Nigerians will not want to read it, but when put in simplified form and translated into the various local languages, they read and easily assimilate.
Muhammad, therefore, appealed to the media for support to help create awareness on the law to enable citizens to understand some aspects of their engagement as some disabilities are not feasible.
She also challenged participants to come up with robust deliberations that would benefit their counterparts in the rural areas since they were their representatives at the meeting.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Disability Affairs Board, Alhaji Aliyu Yakasai, who was represented at the meeting by a Director, appreciated the group for involving the media in sensitising citizens on the law.
According to him, when key areas were highlighted in the Law, the Board had thought about how best to disseminate the law in a form the PWDs would easily understand.
“We can’t thank the media enough. The media has been helpful for us to get to this level and the meeting today is most timely,” Yakasai said.
Executive Director of Jalad Media Concept, Mr. Joshua James, said the journey for the enactment of the bill into law by the Kaduna State Government did not come easy for the association, but with support from NGOs, individuals, media and other stakeholders, it was made possible.
He commended the efforts of the National President of Persons with Disability, Rilwan Mohammed; the ED of Women with Disability Self Reliance Foundation, Risikat Muhammad, for their patience and endurance in ensuring the bill saw the light of day.
Also, a medical social worker with the National Eye Centre Kaduna, Malam Sani Babayo, said the signing of Persons with Diability bill into law by Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i did not come as a surprise, but an attestation of far reaching ideals of an all- inclusive development policy drive that characterised the entire government development plan and actions in the state.
According to him, the Kaduna State Government is known for its unprecendented height in respect to Disability management and prevention with particular reference to education of the special needs persons and rehabilitation of PWDs, hence the smooth passage of the bill by the State House of Assembly.
He said this was evident in educational provisions, healthcare, infrastructure, human capital development, political representation and others.
Earlier, National President of PWD, Malam Rilwan Mohammed, said there was the need for all hands to be on deck to see that the law was well comprehended by the people it was intended to benefit, as passing a bill into law is one thing and its implemention is most important.