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Religious, Traditional Leaders Make Case For Disability Community

Religious and Traditional leaders have called for enhanced government and private sector collaboration to promote policies and programmes aimed at meanstreaming persons with disabilities in all scheme of affairs.

They made the call in Abuja during the National Summit on Disability Inclusion for Religious and Traditional Leaders In Nigeria Organised by the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

The National Summit is the second in the series by the Commission on fostering Disability Inclusion with this year’s focus on Religious and Traditional institutions.

Declaring the Summit Open, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo represented by the State House Chaplain, Pastor Joseph Malomo called for support to ensure the Summit turns out good.

In a remark, the Sultan of Sokoto, President Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar who noted that persons with Disabilities were important part of the society pledged to work with the commission to advance the course of the Disability Community.

On his part, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Most Reverend Daniel Okoh maintained that through concerted efforts, most challenges faced with persons with Disabilities would be addressed.

Most Reverend Okoh who urged stakeholders to understand the importance of meanstreaming of persons with Disabilities in all programmes, stressed the need for all states to domesticate and enforce laws that would bring an end to stigma and discrimination against those with special needs.

Adding their voices at the Summit, the Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onayaikan and the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar both emphasized the need for an all inclusive Society.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary National Commission for Persons with Disabilities Mr James Lalu urged traditional and religious leaders to create opportunities for Persons with Disabilities to be recognised as clergy men and women as well as Incorporated in cabinets of traditional institutions.

In a message, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajiya Saddiya Umar Farouq represented by the National Coordinator Social Investment Programme, Dr Umar Bindar appealed to religious and traditional institutions to foster social inclusion in all activities.

Also, the Chairman House Committee on Disabilities Mariam Onuoha pointed out that the National Assembly has enacted so many legislations to help promote the rights and dignity of Persons with Disabilities.

COV/ Ifeanyi Osita EDITED BY GRACE NAMIJI

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