Ortom’s wife, Akase make case for people with disabilities, call for inclusion in social affairs

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Benue state first lady, Dr. Eunice Ortom, and a Frontline governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Mr. Terver Akase, said that people with disabilities must be accorded utmost dignity and social inclusion in all society’s affairs.

Speaking in her message on the International Day of the People with Disabilities today, Dr. Ortom said: “The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IPDP) was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/3. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in all spheres of society and development and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

“The theme for IDPD this year which is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world” could not have come at a better time.

“World over, the new normal set by the COVID-19 pandemic has made life uncertain and deeply challenging in many ways particularly for PWDs who even under normal circumstances, are less likely to access health care, education, employment and actively participate in the community due to the multiple and intertwined cultural, socioeconomic and systemic barriers.

“Though the word “Disability” connotes dysfunctionality, we must take to mind that this set of special persons are skilled, talented, gifted and efficient in various ways and so should be given equal opportunity in the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of life.

“As we commemorate this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I call on all state and non state actors to consider the potential in this demographic which constitutes about 15% of the estimated human population.

“We must beam our lights on this demographic and take action to put in place policies and laws that pull down barriers in accces to services for PWDs.

“We must be deliberate and conscious to include PWDs in the highest levels of leadership and decision making in line with the tenets of the Sustainable Development Goals to Leave No One Behind and “nothing for us, without us.”

“Beyond this day, I call on all stakeholders to sustain actions that promote the rights of PWDs to live healthy dignified lives and to attain their full potentials in life for the good of our communities, state and nation at large”

Terver Akase in his own statement signed by Nathaniel Nongu, Director of Media, Terver Akase Campaign Organization advocated that persons living with disabilities be accorded utmost dignity and social inclusion in all society’s affairs.

He emphasised that the observance of the Day which aims at promoting an understanding of disability issues and mobilizing support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons living with disabilities across the world, must be taken seriously by all citizens so as to develop genuine consciousness towards building an inclusive world.

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP 2023 guber hopeful, particularly called on governments at all levels and relevant stakeholders to evolve sustainable and concrete approaches for the integration and inclusion of more persons with disabilities into every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural spheres, so as to have them participate and contribute to nation-building.

Mr Akase who is the erstwhile Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, described as suitable and timely, the theme for this year which is; “Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities towards an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post-COVID-19 World”, acknowledging that the theme reinforces his conviction that all well meaning citizens deserve to be given opportunity to participate in governance.

He expressed confidence in the determination of those living with disabilities, and stated his readiness to always support them to harness their God given potentials to add value to the society. He urged them not to succumb to self-pity or allow their condition hold them back from showcasing their productive energy in diverse ways.

While commending the tenacity, industry and creativity of persons living with disabilities, Mr Akase encouraged them to continue to brave all odds in pursuing their life endeavours with focus and commitment to succeed..