The Senior Pastor of Praise Arena-Kingdom Light Christian Centre, Dr. Jummy Adetoyese-Olagunju, has commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for employing visually-impaired graduates in their states.
Adetoyese-Olagunju said this at a special thanksgiving service of the church for two virtually-impaired graduates—Adesola Ajayi and Joseph Omoare— beneficiaries of the scholarship by Praise Arena Church who were recently employed by the Lagos and Oyo State Governments, at Praise Arena Church, Swiss International, Lekki, Lagos.
Adesola, a graduate of Law from the University of Lagos, was recently employed by the Ministry of Judiciary, Lagos State.
Omoare, a graduate of Education from Oyo State College of Education, was among 150 persons living with disability recently employed by the Oyo State Government.
He commended the efforts of the state governors in providing sustainable livelihoods for persons living with disabilities within their states.
Adetoyese-Olagunju said: “We are grateful to the Lagos and Oyo State governors for the kind gesture given to the two graduates.
“It is an indication of the friendly policy put in place to support the vulnerable and downtrodden in the society.”
He noted that creating an inclusive and accessible environment for persons with disabilities to live and thrive among their peers is not charity.
Rather, he noted, it is the economic responsibility of the government and it is in the best interest of the people they represent.
According to Adetoyese-Olagunju, without access to quality education and sustainable livelihood, children living with disabilities are unable to contribute meaningfully to the economy, are more prone to violence and experience a slower pace of social and human development.
The cleric reiterated the readiness of the church in impacting more lives as well as working with other institutions.
He implored the beneficiaries to reciprocate the kind gesture by creating opportunities that will make life better for other vulnerable people.
Adesola, who spoke on behalf of other beneficiaries, thanked the state government for its inclusive governance, as the gesture would go a long way in improving the lives of the recipients and their families.
He said that the opportunity given to him by the Lagos State government and the church can never be forgotten.
“I would implore other churches and institutions to invest their time and resources towards the needy and vulnerable people within their environment,” he added.
He posited further that there are millions of visually-impaired persons and people with special needs in Nigeria, who need support and policy framework that would include them in governance.
“I have discovered that across all sectors of our national life which include transportation, housing, environment, education, people with special needs go through harrowing experiences that need urgent attention,” he said.
Adesola asserted that the visually-impaired and physically-challenged communities are made up of industrious people who have amazing talents, skills and potentials if given the right environment could be explored for greater productivity.
Also speaking in admiration of the support of Praise Arena Church and the Oyo State government, Omoare said that he will never forget the show of love given to him at a time when all hope was lost.
He said it is the support given to him by the church that enabled him to go to school at a time when his wife left him after he became visually-impaired due to an occupational accident.
“I become blind nine years ago due to an occupational accident. That year, my wife left me and my father who was diabetic died of the complication because of my new status.
“I wanted to go to school but I had no support which made me think of committing suicide at that time.
“But help came when I called Pastor Jummy Adetoyese-Olagunju during his regular radio programme on EKO FM for help and the church took up my education till l graduated,” he said.
He promised to make the best use of the opportunity given to him by the Oyo State government and calls for more support from the government and other non-state actors to do more to make life meaningful for persons living with disabilities in our society.
Pastor Jummy Adetoyese-Olagunju prayed for good success for Governor Sanwo-Olu and his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde.
He called on other states to extend such kind gestures to people living with disabilities in society.