The Osun State Government has committed to being the next state to domesticate the National Disability Act by enacting its own disability law to protect the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the state.
The commitment was made by the Solicitor General & Acting Permanent Secretary of the Osun State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Morufat Adekemi Bello, during an advocacy visit led by the Osun State Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF) and some other disability-focused organisations.
Mrs. Bello, who apologised for the delay in transmitting the bill to the Osun State House of Assembly (OSHA), explained that the Ministry has been working tirelessly to ensure the bill is in tandem with international best practices, and adequately captures all the rights of PWDs.
The Permanent Secretary said, “it is better to develop the bill in a good way to make it achieve the set aims and objectives.”
She thereafter disclosed that the bill has been approved for transmission to the State House of Assembly, promising that, “if the lawmakers need any assistance in any regard, we will be willing to provide it instantly.
“We want to do all the needful to ensure that PWDs are in good positions and not exempted in the state. With this, we want to provide equal access, in health, public places, transportation, and all relevant areas.”
Speaking, Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo, Executive Director of FFF noted that during a previous advocacy visit, the Speaker of the OSHA had promised to sign the bill once submitted by the Ministry of Justice.
Fajemilo explained that “if the disability bill is passed into law, it would enhance the participation of PWDs in the design, planning, and implementation of governments policies and programs.”
He appealed that the Ministry hasten its actions to ensure the prompt transmission of the bill to the appropriate quarters.
The immediate past chairman of Osun JONAPWD, Mr. Kehinde Onitiju mentioned that it is important that Osun domesticates the National Disability Act so that it can be a good example to other states, adding that PWDs should not be left behind in the scheme of affairs in the state.
The advocacy visit to the Osun State Ministry of Justice on the domestication of the National Disability Act which was part of FFF’s Disability Inclusion Drive and Advocacy Project was funded by Liliane Foundation, Netherlands, and supported by The Leprosy Mission Nigeria.
The advocacy visit had in attendance Ms. Blessing Oladunjoye, Publisher of BONews Service, Mr. Olufemi Stephen, the current Chairman of Osun JONAPWD, and the executives as well as representatives from Society for Life Changers and Good Parental Care (SoLife), Community Action Initiative for Self-Reliance (CAI4SR).