*Emphasizes renewing hope for disability-inclusive society
By; SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri
In an effort to promote inclusivity and eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities, Borno Governor, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum declared the International Day for Persons with Disabilities open.
The event, organized by the Borno State Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs and Special Duties in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, commemorated the 2023 International Day for Persons Living with Disabilities under the theme, “Renewing Hope Together for Disability-Inclusive Societies.”
Representing Governor Zulum, Hon. Ibrahim Tukur delivered a speech expressing delight in addressing the attendees on this special day.
He emphasized the significance of the theme, which reflects the collective responsibility to ensure equal opportunities for every individual, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, to thrive and contribute to society.
The day aimed at acknowledging the struggles and triumphs of individuals living with disabilities, celebrating their resilience, determination, and valuable contributions to communities. It also served as a reminder to break down barriers, embrace diversity, and create truly inclusive environments.
Governor Zulum’s government is deeply committed to creating an environment that respects and upholds the rights of persons with disabilities.
They recognized the need for equal access to education, healthcare, employment, and all aspects of life. Notably, they have implemented policies and initiatives to promote inclusion and eliminate discrimination.
Efforts include providing accessible infrastructure, inclusive education, vocational training, and employment opportunities. However, they acknowledge that more work needs to be done.
The occasion emphasized the importance of collaboration and collective action.
Stakeholders, civil society organizations, and the private sector were urged to join hands in the journey towards building truly inclusive societies.
The Honorable Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, reiterated the Borno State Government’s commitment to the cause and welfare of women, children, and people living with disabilities.
She highlighted initiatives such as providing schools, vocational centers, job employment opportunities, monthly stipends for 1,900 individuals with disabilities, and inclusive palliative distribution during times of crisis.
Joining in the celebration, the Honorable Commissioner of Information on Internal Security, Prof. Tar acknowledged the significant challenges faced by individuals who resort to begging due to socio-economic factors.
He assured the attendees that the Borno State Government is working diligently to create viable alternatives for these individuals, ensuring that they have access to rehabilitation programs that will equip them with the necessary skills for sustainable livelihoods.
The Permanent Secretary, Alh. Bukar, expressed gratitude to Governor Zulum for his unwavering commitment to the needs of vulnerable individuals and people with disabilities.
He acknowledged the governor’s sensitivity and provision of stipend allowances to 1,949 persons with disabilities, among other welfare packages.
Other notable figures who spoke at the program included the Representative of the Commissioner of Police and Ambassador Ahmed Shehu, Chairman of Civil Society Organizations.
The event featured a presentation on disability, which added to the celebration of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities and aimed to raise awareness and promote inclusivity.