By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA – Disabled persons in Anambra state, under the aegis of Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, JONAPWD, Anambra state chapter have given all the governorship candidates from various political parties in the state some conditions for securing their votes during the fast-approaching November 6 gubernatorial election in the state.
Some of the conditions included the establishment of disability rights commission, continuous employment of persons with disabilities, allotment of more political offices to persons with disabilities, the extension of their years of service, social protection programme for them, housing scheme for them, scholarship and health care facilities for theme.
State Chairman of JONAPWD, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke who disclosed this yesterday during an interactive forum between members of the association and gubernatorial candidates of various political parties, said over,400,000 persons living with disabilities in Anambra state have decided that their votes must count in the forthcoming. the governorship election in the state and as such, the association is looking for a candidate that has an inclusive plan that would continue to see issues of persons with disabilities from the angle of rights instead of charity.
Okeke contended that the disability community would not be happy to see their involvement in governance drop against the current high level of engagement initiated by the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano administration with persons with disability’s
He noted that it was for these reasons that JOAPWD decided to invite all the party candidates, including APC, PDP, APGA, YPP, ZLP, Accord Party, Action Alliance, Labour Party, and others to come out with a clear understanding and or documentation of their programmes and policies so far towards the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their political structures and agenda.
In his speech, the Special Adviser to Governor Obiano on Disability Matters, Barr. Chuks Ezewuzie, expressed disappointment that the parties’ candidates did not honour the. invitation of JONAPWD and urged the association members to follow APGA candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo who he said would do more things for persons with disabilities in the state even more than Oibiano is doing at the moment.
However, a prominent member of persons if APC Governorship candidate, Senator Andy Uba Campaign Organisation, Hon. Chukwuemeka Ezeugoma Mascot, who apologized that his principal, Andy Uba could not attend the event as a result of his travel to Abuja, recalled that Uba was in Awka the previous week when the event was originally scheduled to take. place but later. found out that the event no longer took place as scheduled.
Mascot who announced a donation of N200,000 on behalf of Senator Uba noted that Andy Uba would like to attend this kind of event in person because he was already proposing to create Ministry of Disability Affairs to take proper care of persons with disabilities in the state