By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa â€” The governors of the 36 states of the federation have been called upon to initiateÂ empowerment and engagement policies to favour the physically-challenged in their states.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Salamatu Hussein, who made the appeal in Yenagoa, said though the Federal Government had embarked on series of programmes to uplift people living with disability, the visits to most parts of Bayelsa State showed a non-existent rate of begging.
She commended the state government and disabled persons for their creativity and engagement in positive ventures.
Represented by Mrs. Endurance Egbe at the International Day for Persons with Disability, the Minister said the actions of the Federal Government at the state and regional levels were similar to the ones being embarked upon by Bayelsa State government, adding that the Federal Government had domesticated the United Nationâ€™s Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons.
She said the Federal Government had given the best to persons with disability and set machinery in place to enable the physically-challenged to realise and actualise their potentials.
â€œThe Department of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Develop-ment is doing a lot in building and strengthening the capa-city of persons with disability to enable them live a self-sustaining life,â€ she said.
In her speech, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State governor on Matter Relating to Disabled Persons, Miss Ziriki Timiepiri Godwill, expressed happiness at the verdict of the minister on the zero-begging activities by disable persons in the state.
She attributed the positive show of activities by persons with disability to the creation of her office by Governor Timipre Sylva.
Miss Godwill said though the outlined plans for the persons with disability have not been achieved fully by the present administration in the state, the governor had shown compassion and treated persons with disability like others and approved a Paralympics sports festival in the state next year.
She noted that Sports Festival, as proposed by the governor, was meant to engage the disabled youths in the state and bring out their potentials.
â€œWe are expecting more good things from the state government and the physically-challenged people should not allow their condition to constrain them, but encourage them to show extra might for greatness.
â€œIn Bayelsa, we donâ€™t have the physically-challenged begging on the street.â€