Integrate persons with disabilities to end discrimination, marginalisation – Islamic cleric tells Buhari, others
An Islamic cleric, Professor Sabit Ariyo Olagoke, has advised the three tiers of government to integrate persons with disabilities in all areas of human endeavours.
Olagoke, who spoke with journalists in Ibadan on Thursday, noted that the need to integrate them is necessary in order to reduce discrimination, marginalisation and oppression of persons with disabilities (PWDs) across the country.
DAILY POST recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had in January 2019, assented to the Discrimination Against Persons with disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018. The law was aimed to end discrimination against persons with disabilities across the country.
Findings by DAILY POST, however, revealed that the law is not yet effective.
But, Olagoke who is a former Dean, School of Engineering, Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, Ogun State, while speaking at Celebrities Plus Conference organised for persons with disabilities, insisted that the only way to end discrimination, marginalisation and oppression of persons with disabilities as provided for in the law is for the federal government led by President Muhamadu Buhari to integrate persons with disabilities in areas like education, health, economy and social activities.
Olagoke while speaking at the event with the theme, “Talent, creativity and disability-realities and solutions in Nigeria entertainment industry”, advised other tiers of government (state and local), and other stakeholders to see persons with disabilities as part of the society.
The Founder/ Spiritual Head of Shafaudeen in Islam Worldwide, maintained that the major challenges facing PWDs in Nigeria is stigmatisation and marginalisation by the abled bodies.
He said that persons with disabilities are being abused on daily basis because they are not integrated into the society and due to the ineffectiveness of the disability law.
“The major challenges is that is stigmatisation and marginalisation. The society is being sensitise on the need to integrate them and see them as part of the society. They are being abused, women, men among them are being abused on daily basis. They face more challenges more than abled bodies.
“There is no special budget for PWDs and the major problem is that they are not intergrated into the society. Government should be able to plan for them. But, you cannot plan on the people that has no statistics. We do not know the number of PWDs in Nigeria.
“PWDs must be integrated into the society. They should have representation in politics, health, education etc. We are talking about inclusion society. There are a lot of them that have talents. They should be involved in intergrated. We should let the society know that they are also part of the society.”
The convener of the conference, Mr. Yusuf Raheem Olatunji, while speaking with journalists noted that the event was organised in line with United Nations focus to eradicate poverty and promote social inclusion among persons with disabilities.
Olatunji who doubles as National Assistant Secretary General of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), advised persons with disabilities to focus more on their talents rather than focusing on their disabilities.
“This conference is aimed to promote inclusion. We put in together to hearnest the potentials of PWDs.
“We want to encourage PWDs, we want to inspire them and encourage them that they should not look down on themselves.
“They should focus more on their talents and potentials and not on the disabilities. It is in support of United Nations to eradicate poverty and promote inclusion. The gap between persons with disabilities and other who do not have disabilities is too wide.”