The Osun State House of Assembly (OSHA) has held a public hearing to gather inputs of relevant stakeholders within the disability community on the Osun State Disability Protection Bill.
The bill, sponsored by Hon Adewumi Adeyemi, an OSHA member representing Obokun State Constituency, aims to protect the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and to foster inclusivity in governance.
Deputy Speaker Akinyode Adewusi, representing the Speaker during the hearing, explained that the bill had successfully passed the first and second readings.
Therefore, the public hearing was essential to consider potential amendments or additions to the bill.
“The bill aims to promote the development of people with disabilities, improve their quality of life, and ensure their inclusion in governance,” said Adewusi.
“It also seeks to protect the interests of PWDs, preventing discrimination or intimidation among other residents of the state.”
He emphasized that “if PWDs have the right to vote, they should also have access to government facilities, rights, and benefits in the state. The bill’s ultimate goal is to enhance the well-being of PWDs and provide them with opportunities for livelihood.”
The bill’s sponsor, Hon. Adewumi Adeyemi, explained that the public hearing was designed to allow stakeholders to contribute to the bill’s development. He noted that the bill had received suggestions and feedback from various stakeholders, all of which would be considered.
Adeyemi expressed confidence in the bill’s passage, stating that Governor Ademola Adeleke, who is supportive of PWDs, would assent to it after passing through the third reading.
Stephen Olufemi, Chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Osun State chapter, expressed appreciation for the Assembly’s public hearing and urged the House Committee to review the bill, hoping for its successful passage.
The Association urged the House to consider the establishment of a Commission or an agency as part of the Bill, while also proposing 5% employment quota reserved for Persons with Disabilities.
In his presentation, the Executive Director of Insight Initiative for Community and Social Development, Jare Ismahil Tiamiyu, urged the Assembly to consider some of the presentations made by the stakeholders.
Speaking with BONews, Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo, the Executive Director of the Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF), commended the OSHA for efforts on the bill and noted that if passed, the bill would help to promote the rights of PWDs across different parts of the state.
Fajemilo also added that “it is important that the bill is passed speedily, and once it is passed. there should be an immediate establishment of the Osun State Agency for Disability Affairs. With the agency, we will be assured that there is a political commitment to the implementation of the provisions of the law.”
Some parts of this story were culled from Voice Air Media