THE General Manager of Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs, Mr. Dare Dairo has called on residents to work towards including persons living with disabilities in society.
He made this call on Monday during a symposium.
Dairo, who was represented by the Head of Department, Social Development and Integration, LASODA, Mr. Kelani Akeem, disclosed this during a symposium in Lagos with the theme, ‘Diversity in disability: The future we want.’
He said, “The Lagos State Government does not take the issue of persons living with disabilities with levity, it has put all efforts available into making diversity in disability to be seen by all in their day-to-day activities.
“This was what moved the current federal Minister, Babatunde Fashola, the then Governor, to look into all these challenges to establish the agency.
“The Federal Government has also helped, particularly through the Act of Disability that was recently signed into law, although at the state level, we need more collaboration to fashion more ways by which we can extend the love of a community to the persons living with disabilities.”
The Chairman, Young Lawyers Forum, Ikeja branch, Mr. Yusuf Nurudeen, said a provision in the law to protect PWDs that should be implemented.
“There is a need for us to prepare our minds and take deliberate actions to include PWDs in every stratum of society by seeing them as humans like us, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender.
“There is a law in Nigeria called People Living with Disability Act. Unfortunately, the provision of the law that says at least five per cent of employment opportunities should be reserved for PWDs has not been implemented, and if you look at our institutions today, there is no compliance to this,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University, Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, who was represented by Dr. Tajudeen Olumoko, commended the sensitisation, urging citizens to see PWDs as part of the human race.
The Chairman, Punch Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Angela Emuwa, at the event, said, “It is incumbent on all of us to recognise the rights of people living with disabilities to have a life of dignity, enjoying the same access to equal opportunities as every other person in society.”