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HomeNEWSHAPI, Stakeholders Advocate for Domestication of Disability Law in Benue State

HAPI, Stakeholders Advocate for Domestication of Disability Law in Benue State

Urgent Call to Safeguard Rights and Promote Inclusive Society for Persons with Disabilities

In a concerted effort to accelerate the domestication of disability law in Benue State, the HOPE ALIVE for Possibilities Initiative (HAPI) and other key stakeholders have urged the state government to expedite the adoption of a draft Disabilities Bill. This move aims to safeguard the rights and foster inclusivity for persons with disabilities, underscoring the pressing need for legislative action to address longstanding challenges faced by this demographic.

Aver Akighir, Executive Director, HAPI addressing Participants

The call for urgent action was articulated during a Press Conference organized by HAPI, held at Eyah’s Hotels and Suits, Makurdi, last Wednesday. Aver Akighir, the Executive Director of HAPI, emphasized the organization’s commitment to collaborating with government and strategic partners to advance the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in the state.

Akighir lamented the absence of a disability law in Benue State, highlighting its status as the sole state in the North-Central region without such legislation. Despite the enactment of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act of 2018 at the federal level, persons with disabilities in Benue State remain vulnerable to various forms of discrimination due to the lack of localized legal protections.

Enumerating the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in the state, Akighir cited issues such as denial of political appointments and employment opportunities, inadequate access to healthcare, education, and transportation, exacerbated by the adverse effects of subsidy removal and inflation.

Group picture of The Participants

Furthermore, Akighir urged the government to leverage the extensive network of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) to facilitate grassroots advocacy, socio-political compliance, and grievance resolution across the state’s 23 local governments.

Echoing Akighir’s sentiments, Mr. Onah Adah, a person with Albinism, and Mercy Jovkyundan underscored the critical need for political will to drive the domestication of disability law in Benue State. They attributed the delay in legislative action to a lack of prioritization by past administrations, urging current leadership to prioritize the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities.

As stakeholders continue to rally support for the adoption of a Disabilities Bill in Benue State, the collective advocacy efforts aim to effect meaningful change and create a more inclusive and equitable society for all residents, irrespective of disability status.

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