400,000 Disabled Persons In Plateau State Neglected By Government And Families -Executive Chairman James Lalu
The Executive Chairman Plateau State Disability Rights Commission, Mr. James David Lalu has decried that over 400,000 thousand persons with disabilities are suffering government neglect in Plateau including other states in Nigeria.
He lamented over the plight of persons with disabilities where some of them are hidden from the public and 80% was as a result of sectarian crises in the state.
Speaking on the agitation for Biafra state and the Arewa youths ultimatum given to the Igbo, Lalu condemned it as he said crisis affect persons with disabilities.
Lalu cautioned that most of the people who are sponsoring these vulnerable youths to cause crisis have secured citizenship for their children abroad schooling there and therefore they come to Nigeria and pump youths to go and cause trouble.
“I do not welcome this type of idea because it will affect persons with disabilities much more based on their condition.Even the communal conflict that happened in some part of Nigeria affected our members of persons with disabilities much more than any other person,” he said.
He called on the Arewa youths forum to have a rethink again because the idea is a negative one and employ all meaningful Nigerian to join hands in prayers for the progress of our country.
According to him, “since we came into office you may be aware that the Plateau state Disability Rights Commission was constituted about 3 years ago .One of the major challenges we face is the institutional condition in the state and we are praying that it will change for good, subsequently when we came into office there were a lot of thing that we achieved through the help of charity organizations in collaboration with the disability Rights commission as they even distributed artificial limbs to our people.”
“We are hoping that it will help to improve their commitment toward effective service delivery to the society,” he said.
Lalu encouraged them to get artificial limbs and return to farm, “We have sent two of persons with disabilities from Plateau state to learn how to produce artificial limbs for the members of persons with disabilities and we also sent bill to plateau House of Assembly to contribute to the amendment of laws in the state.”
“We have achieved enough policy change in serving people with disabilities in Plateau state and change some of the policy that can accommodate in the lives of the people that is why we contribute a lot in the house of Assembly especially in the amendment of the local government law ,in the law we make sure that persons with disabilities are recognize in the process of governance.
He explained that ,” our target is to get persons with disabilities in the discussion and decision making at the local government level so that when they go to the executive meeting at the local government councils they can contribute meaningfully to be familiar with the decision making there and be inclusive direction to impact positively in their live .
He disclosed that the persons with disabilities who are the vulnerable group are supposed to be part of the decision making system so that no body is left behind as it is in our sustainable development goals target ,this is first of its kind in Nigeria to implement meaningful program that will have proper coordinating system even at the local government level.
Lalu added, when combine the population of three local government councils are not up to the population of persons with disabilities in the state.
We have one person with Disability in PLASIEC to engage him with meaning of electoral system ,the past bill sent to the members of 7 assembly directing PLASIEC to print and indelible ballot specially for persons with disabilities so as to enlighten them on the voting process and also in the bill urging that a separate line will be kept for disabled persons because loving people in the we find ourselves .
He said presently we have two persons with disabilities studying in Malaysia due to the magnanimity of the present government of Barr. Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau state who graciously approved the request from the commission for them to undergo study in the production of artificial limbs.
We sent two students to study in abroad in order to make use of their knowledge acquire in training to advance other persons with disabilities in Nigeria which they are suppose the training will end in February 2018 and they are expected to back .We have seen a wholistic approach to organize workshops for the continuous with their work for other to benefit because there is a target to meet the demand of about 50 to 100% and when we finish on the Plateau then we shall make sure that we extend the ideas to the north east to assist our people in IDPs and other neighboring States across the federation .
We are trying to use the technology we will bring to Nigeria to strife and improve the wellbeing of the people for better tomorrow.
Mr Lalu stressed that sincerely speaking when talk about challenges in persons with disabilities been the most important aspect you will discover that ignorance is a major problems .There are a lot of barriers we have in society there are physically challenge barrier and philosophical barrier where by a lot of people having limited understanding on what disability really means .Disabilities is a development issue and therefore for you it have to get multi sectional approach to enable us deal with disabilities .A lot of people that are having limited understanding on Disability view disability from charity angle and the assistant and merely needs and help .
The fact is that Disability mean developmental issue these are some of the philosophical barrier we are having and we trying to see how we can whip it away God can turn you from somewhere to somewhere, therefore, we are telling people that nobody with disabilities is part of transition of life and that God doesn’t finish creation until you are dead.
He reminded people that a lot of people because Disability of medical problem people with disabilities do not deserve any piety but only deserve love and care so that they can realize themselves and contribute their quotas to the development of the society.
The Executive Chairman said, when you asked the question I started feeling in my veins moving how the vulnerable disabilities persons will be affected, the fact here is, and I was born after the civil war that happened. There are a lot of people that became Disabled during that period .They youth who tempering with the relative peace in the society is as a result of unemployment. A lot of people have not seen what war is about they are chanting for war most of the people who are sponsoring these vulnerable youths to cause trouble are responsible uprising to cause confusion.