Discrimination killing potential of individuals with disabilities – Ekiti chairman

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The Chairman of the Joint Association of Persons Living with Disabilities, Ekiti State, Tokunbo Familusi, tells ABIODUN NEJO that the governments anf, society have to do extra in order that PWDS can have conducive surroundings to thrive

When you emerged JONAPWD state chairman, what did you inform your self?

I thank God as a result of among the many individuals who contested that election, I’m not the very best, however I simply give God all of the glory for giving me the chance to steer folks with disabilities. I imagine it is a chance for me to be a voice for the unvoiced, and to advocate for them. I see it as a chance and a floor to advocate for all PWDs in Ekiti State, to create a greater dwelling for them and to ensure they’ve entry to high quality training and that they don’t seem to be being discriminated towards in society.

As it’s, what are the challenges of your members in Ekiti?

Persons with disabilities are dealing with a collection of challenges by way of inclusion and employment alternatives. There is a necessity for the PWDs to have entry to high quality training and empowerment. Look on the buildings within the state, most of them will not be accessible to PWDs, authorities workplaces and so many public buildings that aren’t compliant with the disabilities regulation. There are so many challenges that we face. Today, PWDs can’t be put within the properties, we’re purported to see them working, so, the realm of jobs for PWDs must be addressed. They are to not be discriminated towards in society.

PWDs have all the time stated healthcare supply is vital. Are you glad with PWDs’ entry to healthcare supply in Ekiti State?

Recently, Ekiti State Government made provision for entry to free healthcare which we actually applaud the governor, Biodun Oyebanji, for. In the previous, we confronted challenges that folks needed to die consequently. We must thank the state governor for the current efforts. They made it obtainable for us that via the healthcare centres, we will entry free healthcare. So, the state authorities is actually attempting in that space.

What of training?

Education within the space of scholarship, persons are purported to have entry to inclusive scholarship alternatives. However, there may be nonetheless a problem that PWDs will not be given the chance to have their sheer proportion. When we speak about scholarships, in accordance with the regulation, 5 per cent of the job alternatives, and 5 per cent of scholarships are purported to be given to them. They are nonetheless dealing with challenges. While within the college, one of many challenges in that space is that PWDs shouldn’t have high quality time to do their examinations. For occasion, individuals with albinism like me require some period of time to remain centered to do the examination. There is not any consideration for them. The lecturers too within the secondary colleges may not likely perceive the character of PWDs, that there’s a want for them to maneuver nearer to the board, and there’s a want for them to provide them printed supplies in order that they will have the ability to have entry to training. But as a substitute, they inform your mother and father that you simply can not see, which might finish education for such an individual. There is a necessity for them to know the disabilities of our folks and have the ability to carry them alongside within the training system.

But there are particular colleges to cater on your pursuits…

Yes and free training as properly. But we wish extra particular colleges within the state as a result of we have now so many PWDS. Three colleges will not be sufficient. We need the federal government to do extra by offering extra colleges in order that PWDS within the rural areas can even profit from inclusive training so that we are going to not simply be restricted to 3 cities in Ekiti State. We don’t need anyone to maintain their kids/wards within the house. So, a lot must be performed within the space of offering high quality training in order that our members in rural areas can profit.

What are you doing concerning the difficulties in accessing public locations and employment alternatives among the many challenges that you simply recognized?

We are having engagements with the federal government, sensitizing them on the necessity to present buildings that can be accessible for PWDs, like for any individual in a wheelchair or utilizing crutches, buildings are purported to be made accessible to them. We have been going to the media, enlightening the general public on the best way to make a sort of inclusive constructing for everyone in order that PWDs can even showcase their talents and abilities. They shouldn’t be discouraged. Like within the banking halls motels, they need to do the needful in order that PWDS can have the ability to entry the banking halls, motels and different public locations.

So far, what has the federal government been doing?

As I stated earlier, the state authorities has offered free training and within the particular colleges, it has improved the welfare wants of the scholars – bettering their meals, not too long ago they employed some folks there who additionally assist what’s already on the bottom. In the realm of ICT coaching, they made provision for folks to study there. They have a centre there the place folks study pc and ICT abilities. But we’re nonetheless begging the state authorities to do extra as a result of we have now numerous individuals who haven’t benefitted.

And what of within the space of accessibility to public locations?

Looking at Ekiti State, we will see that they haven’t performed so properly within the space of accessibility to public locations. Most of the motels, and authorities workplaces will not be complying with the code of buildings. As it’s at the moment in Nigeria, it’s within the Disability Law that there must be provision to make locations accessible. One of the areas I want to point out is the realm of political appointments. PWDs are purported to have board members of 4 individuals and a md, they’re purported to oversee disabilities in Ekiti State which has not been performed and we’re nonetheless begging them to do that for us. In the realm of appointments, we’re not being carried alongside as we should as a result of simply certainly one of our members, is benefitting. I don’t imagine it’s inclusive sufficient. Also, the manager workplace of the PWDs right here is meant to be chaired by the PWD, however we have now not been seeing the assist of the federal government on this space and we’re additionally begging the federal government to return to our help in order that that individual have to be a PWD within the incapacity workplace. It is an individual who wears the shoe that is aware of the place it pinches. The individual will have the ability to perceive our challenges and get issues performed for us.

But why are your members not collaborating in politics?

We have a few of our members who’re politicians, however there may be nonetheless a lot discrimination. People are nonetheless experiencing discrimination, when it’s a individual with bodily disabilities, they are saying he can’t do it. They are likely to discriminate, however we don’t have psychological disabilities. We have the suitable to take part in elections and political alternatives. We nonetheless face some challenges on the grassroots, however we’re nonetheless attempting to enlighten the folks, and the general public via consciousness on the radio and TV for them to provide us that chance to point out that there’s potential in incapacity. We can even do it.

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What is your cost to your members on the 2026, and 2027 elections in Ekiti?

I need to implore all our members each within the rural and concrete areas that we will do it. We are to return collectively and strategise on how we will take cost of political actions. It just isn’t dangerous if within the state we have now a PWD as commissioner, deputy governor or governor. We may even have certainly one of us as minister or president of the nation. We can do it, we’re good. We shouldn’t disenfranchise ourselves. So, I need to implore all PWDs in each nook and cranny of the state to return collectively and take an lively half within the electoral resolution course of within the state. We shouldn’t be shy or intimidated. I imagine God will help us to attain our objectives.

And your enchantment to Ekiti folks in case PWDs are on the poll…

I need to enchantment to Ekiti State folks to like us, we’re individuals with disabilities. We are members of the neighborhood and we’re very peaceable. We are working in direction of the progress of the state. So, I need to implore folks to see us as stakeholders. We are going to ship dividends of democracy to them peradventure they permit us to contest or to carry political workplaces, we’re going to give our greatest to society.

In the realm of privileges, are you glad with how folks view your members?

It is a gradual course of. Before now, there was a lot discrimination, as I stated earlier, however with our enlightenment course of, we’re advocating, we’re making folks see that we will do it. There are a few of our members rendering very important providers than those that will not be disabled. We are calling on folks to see the power in us; that we’re able to discharge our duties and obligations accordingly, that they need to give us a chance, we’re not going to fail them.

For your members, how has the job market been?

The space of the job market has been a really difficult one, however we’re getting there. Because there may be all the time a sort of discrimination, they see you that you simply can not do it since you are in a wheelchair. After all, you’re a PWD. But I’m utilizing this chance to enchantment to members of the general public to all the time obey the regulation which employs 5 per cent of PWDs, they need to give us that proper, that chance in order that our members can have the ability to get jobs. It just isn’t an excessive amount of for them, they need to see us and the power in us and the spirit of I can do it in order that our members who’ve the abilities can have the ability to get good employment.

Your enchantment to governments on the implementation of the Disabilities Law

I need to enchantment to governments, although the regulation has been authorized, the governments have been doing little within the space of implementation. So I need to enchantment to governments within the space of job alternatives and employment, they need to contemplate PWDs proper from the native authorities, to the state to the federal. PWDs must be allowed to get their 5 per cent and so they shouldn’t be discouraged in getting jobs. The personal sector must also emulate that as properly.

Do you assume being a PWD is synonymous with poverty or begging?

No. Being a PWD doesn’t have something to do with poverty or begging. Some PWDs are IT consultants doing properly, we have now some who’re masters and PhD holders. PWDs shouldn’t be seen as paupers in society, they shouldn’t be restricted to alms begging. PWDs ought to have entry to high quality training, they need to be given the mandatory alternatives for them to showcase their skills. If they’re supplied with the mandatory assist and a conducive surroundings, they may have the ability to ship their duties as anticipated. They shouldn’t be seen as much less privileged paupers or poor individuals in society. They must be given the suitable assist for them to ship.

How do you assume society and authorities can genuinely assist PWDs?

Society wants to point out us, love, by accepting us and welcoming us, by not discriminating towards us, and by giving us each required inclusion. Then the federal government, in each profit, the PWDs have to be thought-about – empowerment, employment, political appointments, and programmes. We shouldn’t be seen as somewhat neighborhood, no matter the federal government is doing, no matter the federal government is placing on board for each neighborhood, PWDs have to be given their fair proportion. Globally, we have now 30 per cent of the inhabitants of the world, in accordance with the United Nations. I would like folks to provide them each assist, and each alternative for them to thrive, to have the ability to obtain their objectives and within the space of employment, we shouldn’t be discriminated towards. I need to imagine that as time goes on, having a president who’s PWD is achievable.

Some folks have stated PWDs compound their issues by marrying the unsuitable spouses. What recommendation do you’ve gotten on your members on marriage?

I need to advise my members that earlier than going into marriage, you could critically examine the individual. Is it the suitable individual so that you can marry? Don’t simply assume that as a result of you’ve gotten disabilities, you need to simply marry to cease folks discriminating towards you, no. You shouldn’t simply go to any marriage and one man will begin abusing you. I implore us to be affected person and marry a God-fearing one who will love us with no matter challenges we have now and can stick with us perpetually

Do you subscribe to PWD getting married to PWD?

Fine, that’s love. PWD can marry PWD. I additionally imagine that PWDs can do what they really feel is healthier for them. As an individual, I didn’t marry a PWD. It just isn’t a barrier, you possibly can marry whoever you need to marry, however it must be on the situation of the suitable individual you’re keen on. What issues is love and understanding.



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