The Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (Lagos Chapter) has called on the leadership of the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA) to reflect on the management of its affairs in other to chat a new cause.
JONAPWD, in a letter issued by the State Chairman Lagos State Chapter, Dr Adebukola Adebayo, stressed the importance of x-raying the activities of LASODA since the inception of the Sanwolu administration.
Dr Adebayo stated that the disability law and disability office in Lagos State has been in existence for ten years.
He said, “I ask us to take a deep reflection on how the law and office have impacted on our lives as a PWDs, and how we as leaders are conducting the affairs of our people to ensure that total access and inclusion is achieved for PWDs in all sectors of life in Lagos state.
“Dear Leaders, can we boldly say, with solid evidence, that we have been significantly and positively impacted?
“If we excuse the first eight to nine formative and learning years of LASODA’s existence, because we already lost those years and we can’t recall them, should we also be satisfied with the way and manner LASODA is starting the journey of the next ten years in the lives of PWDs in Lagos State?
“We do not preach any form of confrontation with the government. Rather we have always
believed in strategic and objective partnership as a way of engaging with government to be
sure that we’re not necessarily compromising our objectivity when the times require that we
“This is why we as leaders of PWDs in this State must not sacrifice our voices and moral rights through any personal interest to, on behalf of our people.”
The JONAPWD boss, Lagos State chapter, demanded that:
LASODA Board be set up immediately and that all significant disability clusters and JONAPWD be represented in the membership of the Board;
Disability Resource and Support Centers be set up in all LGAs and LCDAs to ensure that disability support and services are available to our people in their localities;
Disability Fund be fully restored immediately and made public with complete control by the LASODA Board and leaders of the disability community in Lagos state;
Disability ID Cards be issued to all eligible PWDs in Lagos state, and these cards are embedded as a means of accessing education, health, transport and other essential services in the state.
The health insurance program, inclusive education policy and the BRT transport policy be reviewed to accommodate the real needs of PWDs.
A comprehensive and more sustainable economic empowerment program be designed for PWDs devoid of tokenism and charity orientation with substantial inputs from the various disability associations and organisations.
Annual subventions/grants are restored to disability cluster associations and OPDs
through the Disability Fund to strengthen them and make them more effective.
In conclusion, Dr Adebayo stated that there could be no inclusion without full participation.
“What we currently have in Lagos state is an apparent breach of these laws.
“Therefore, we will be doing a mere chorusing of the slogan of ‘NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US,’ and this will not transform our lives if we do nothing about the current dire situation on how disability affairs is governed in Lagos state.
“As leaders, we should not be satisfied in being invited to hotels to eat and drink away the future of those who have elected us to lead them. We should begin to ask critical questions about how our affairs are governed.
“We should begin to demand detailed explanations on the rationale of every program proposed for our people.
“We should ask for great value for every kobo budgeted for and spent on disability in Lagos State.
“We must ensure that no kobo meant for disability is no longer pocketed by any civil servant and politician in LASODA or wherever they may be.
“Finally, we must ensure that every program or intervention designed and implemented for
PWDs in Lagos State conform with the overall goal of positive impact and sustainability so
that our children with disabilities can grow up to enjoy a more disability-accessible and
inclusive Lagos State.”