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Stakeholders brainstorm on Disability Rights Law in Anambra

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By Lawrence Nwimo

Stakeholders and Civil Society Organizations on Wednesday, brainstormed with the People Living with Disabilities (PWD), for validation of abridged Igbo/ English versions of the Disability Rights Law of Anambra State.

The validation exercise was aimed at adopting the abridged (Igbo and pidgin) version of the Disability Law, enacted by the state government in 2018, Orient Daily reports.

The programme was part of the European Union’s funded project that is implemented by the British Council in Nigeria through Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC), a human rights watchdog in the state.

Speaking at the meeting, the President of Customary Court, Awka, His Honour, Princewill Iwuafor, emphasized that the language of 2018 Disability Rights Law was perceived as difficult to some uneducated persons with disabilities, and deprived them ability to seek justices when their rights are trampled upon.


He explained that the stakeholders summarized the English language version in pidgin and Igbo languages common to people in hinterlands to ensure it captured the true meaning of the law in its entirety.

“The objective of the programme is to help people understand the law without the difficulty of rigorous legal jargon. The event is to validate the draft copy of the Igbo and Pidgin version of the law.”

Also, State Chairman, Joint National Association Of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD), Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke, noted that the validation exercise was to capture the interests of all persons by breaking the language barrier for the less educated population.

He said it would not only increase the public knowledge of the law but help them explore the cognitive advantage of using the language of the target group to enhance better understanding of the law and its provisions.

Okeke, who doubles as a member of the Anambra State Capital Expenditure Bilateral Discussion Committee, said the content of the new versions was reviewed critically before adoption and commended RoLAC for series of interventions towards the welfare of the group in the state.

Earlier, RoLAC Anambra State Coordinator, Mrs. Josephine Onah pledged to continue RoLAC trend of identifying with people living with disabilities for the full implementation of Disability Law in Anambra state.

RoLAC programme coordinator, Mrs. Josephine Onah (standing), His Honor, Princwill Iwuafor, and Ugochukwu Okeke at the programme, Wednesday.

She disclosed that the project was borne out of need to simplify and popularize the law such that people become fully aware of their rights.

“We have come to the sensitization of the people for full compliance of the law. Most people are at home with Igbo and Pidgin languages especially those in the hinterland who are not exposed to proper communication in English language.

“We are also training the sign language interpreters for them to understand the legal terminologies that have been signed into law”, she said.

The state coordinator said the programme was aimed at increasing the popularity of the law, and urged individuals and members of the society to help propagate the contents of the disability rights law to enable its full implementation in the state.

Also, the State Director, National Orientation Agency, Barr. Charles Nwoji represented by his deputy, Sir Joseph Uchendu, opined that time had come when public institutions in the state possessed structures and other provisions that do not negate rights of the disability group.

He reassured his organization’s commitment and support to the affairs of the disability community, and stressed that the society must ensure that welfare of the disability family was held paramount for the society to stand as a progressive social entity.

Additionally, the Executive Director, Civil Rights Concern, Mr. Okey Onyeka expressed satisfaction with the development, saying it would go a long way to curb injustices faced by persons with disabilities in the state.

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