The Osun State Chapter of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) has tasked the Osun State House of Assembly (OSHA) on the need to fast track the third reading of the disability bill in the state, to fast track the process of establishing a disability law in the state.
Osun JONAPWD in collaboration with the Festus Fajemilo Foundation, Society for Life Changers and Good Parental Care (So-Life) and the Community Action Initiative for Self-Reliance (CAI4SR) made the call during an advocacy visit to OSHA.
The groups posited that when passed, the bill would promote the rights of all Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), criminalise all forms of discrimination against PWDs and enforce their rights and privileges to education, healthcare and attention during emergencies.
Mr Stephen Oluwafemi, the Chairman of Osun JONAPWD, who commended the Assembly for conducting a public hearing on the bill, mentioned that the process must be completed in earnest, to guarantee the rights of PWDs in the State.
Also, Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo, founder, Festus Fajemilo Foundation, said several efforts have been put in place to ensure the bill is passed, and urged lawmakers to show commitment to promoting the rights of the marginalized group by passing the bill.
Addressing members of the group, OSHA Speaker, Hon Adewale Egbedun, who was represented by the Clerk of the House, Mr Akinwale Amusan assured the PWDs of the House’s commitment to passing the bill with a view to domesticating it.
He added that the lawmakers’ commitment to the ongoing process on appropriation bill 2024 was the reason the bill has not been passed, saying the bill is next on the lawmakers’ agenda.
He added that, “One thing about this disability bill is that we want to do a thorough job, we don’t want a bill that will pass today and within few months we will be thinking of amendments.”
“This is not the only bill we are conducting a public hearing on, but because of its importance, the process is being fast-tracked to ensure that we do a clean job that may not require amendment very soon. We want to be very thorough on it.
“I want to assure you that all the problems of not being included will be a thing of the past once the bill is passed.”
The advocacy for the passage of the bill is being supported by The Leprosy Mission Nigeria and Liliane Foundation, Netherlands.