Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye has reiterated the plans of the Assembly to pass the State Disability Bill into law before the end of 2021, as part of measures to advance the rights of PWDs in the state.
Hon. Owoeye made this known during an advocacy and sensitization visit to the State House of Assembly, by Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF) and representatives of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Osun State Chapter and representatives of Civil Society Organizations in the state.
Hon. Owoeye pledged that all efforts would be made to ensure that the disability bill is passed before the end of year 2021.
He also revealed that the House is committed towards improving the welfare of PWDs in the state, noting that, “the House has started this by enabling access of PWDs to the state’s House of Assembly complex with the construction of a ramp at the frontage.”
Earlier, Mr. Afolabi Fajemilo, Executive Director, Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF), had sensitized members of the Osun State House of Assembly on disability-inclusion issues and the need to expedite action on the passage of the Disability bill in the state.
Speaking at the plenary, Mr. Fajemilo mentioned that there are different categories of disabilities and different accessibility requirements for them. He said, “oftentimes, people generalize PWDs as physically challenged but that it just a cluster group. There are people with sensory, psychosocial and physical disabilities.”
Fajemilo revealed that, “almost everyone will temporarily or permanently experience disability at some point in their life. Hence, addressing disability issues is and should be everyone’s business.
“Our disability is pronounced when the society places restrictions such as attitudinal, institutional, or environmental barriers thereby preventing persons with impairments from participating on equal basis.”
He also shared information about the models of disability, charging lawmakers to see disability as a human right-based rather than seeing it as doing charity.”
On his part, Mr. Kehinde Onitiju, the Chairman, Osun State Chapter of JONAPWD revealed that, “the bill is currently at the Ministry of Justice after which it will be sent to the Executive and transferred to the Assembly.”
He thereafter pleaded that the Assembly should stay committed to their promise and pass the bill.
Other lawmakers in the House also commended the efforts of the organizations and gave assurance on support for PWDs.
Present at the plenary were representatives from different disability clusters, Mr Ebofin Michael and Dr. Benjamin Ayeni from CSO groups.