by Friday Olokor, Abuja,
The Nigeria Association of the Blind on Friday called on the Federal Government to rise to the occasion and arrest the worsening insecurity in the country.
The organization said that of all the victims of banditry, insurgency and kidnapping, its members were most affected.
The President of NAB, Ishiyaku Adamu, said these during a press conference in commemoration of this year’s International White Cane Safety Day.
According to him, whenever there is a displacement, people with disabilities are usually left behind because we cannot run.
Adamu however, commended the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd ), for the establishment of the Disabilities Commission.
He said, “We are asking the government to tackle the growing insecurity in the country. The issue is bothering our people. We are mostly affected. When there is attack in every village, we are mostly affected.
“It is documented worldwide that whenever you see one person killed, at least three or four persons have become disabled and it means an increase in the number of disabled people.
“Whenever there is a displacement, people with disabilities are usually left behind because we cannot run. The government should therefore increase their effort, so the issue of security will become history.”
Adamu urged the National Assembly to pass the National Copyright Bill before it, saying “passage of the Bill will take care of the interest of the blind and other people in Nigeria and aid the domestication of “Marrakesh Treaty”, which allows for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons.
Adamu said, “Access to education is very important for the blind people. We want to see aggressive steps towards promoting inclusive education at all levels.
“This is what Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says and Nigeria is a signatory to that convention.
“We want to remind the government to also fulfil it own obligation under article 27 of the convention by ensuring promotion of inclusion of employment for our people.
“We have a lot of youth who are blind and are educated and eager to contribute their own quota to the development of the country but they are not employed.
“The Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act reserved five per cent for employment in government sector for persons with disabilities. We are calling for quick implementation of the act.
“We can serve at the National Assembly, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Presidency. We want to see our people everywhere”.
The Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission, John Asein, maintained that the commission was formulating policies towards ensuring that the blind and visually impaired have access to the written words.
“At NCC, want to ensure that we deepen the campaign that whenever publishers or authors are bringing out books, they should also make sure that the blinds have copy they can read.
“We also advocating that anytime government spends money for the supply of books to students, such books should also be made available in a format that the blind can read.”