A lecturer at the University of Abuja, Professor Mutiullah Olasupo, has said Nigeria will not achieve serious transformation until persons living with disabilities are integrated into the system.
Olasupo made this observation during the 2021 FRCN Annual Lecture held at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, Thursday.
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The lecture themed, “The Imperative of Disability Inclusion in National Transformation” was in collaboration with the Albino Foundation and with aid of the European Union.
Dignitaries and academics, among whom were the Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammad, converged on the venue to discuss the fate of persons living with disabilities.
According to him, the authorities concerned must to walk the talk of persons with disabilities inclusion for proper social development in the country.
He said, “Despite the high number of capable people living in the disability communities, none of them has yet occupied a serious political position.
“Apart from a special assistant to the president, how many lawmakers living with disabilities do we have? These are the people making laws about how the lives of persons with disabilities will be better.”
He added that Nigeria has persons living with disabilities that have all what it takes to transform the country, but have been pushed aside.
Speaking, the founder of the Albino Foundation, Jake Epelle, said time has come not for only the authority to give the space, but also for persons with disability to take it.
Epelle said, “There is hope. And this is time for the people living with disabilities to take the stage.
“Despite lack of access, we will excel and my mish one day is to see a person living with disability as the president.”
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for being one bold president to make all offices accessible to persons living with disability.
The Minister of Information said nation-building is a mirage without taking persons with disability alone.
He said the Buhari administration has taken giant stride to realise the dreams of the disabled.
He added that the administration has enacted an act and created a commission to better the lives of people with disability.
In his opening remarks, the DG of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Dr. Masur Liman, said FRCN is open to partnership from all stakeholders to actualize the dreams of persons with disability.