Your leadership gives us hope — Physically Challenged Persons tell Obi

The members of the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network have lauded the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Former Governor Peter Obi, for what they described as his responsible and inclusive leadership style which gave hope to the common man, especially the physically challenged.

 

The members spoke in Abuja, during their “Training for Religious Leaders on Protecting and Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for Women with Disabilities” said that Obi remained outstanding in his inclusive style of governance and for embarking on different empowerment programs for the physically challenged, when he was the Governor of Anambra State.

 

A member of the Network, Dr Catherine Edeh, recalled how, in 2014, Obi pushed for disability reforms and inclusion, especially for the young ones in Anambra State, as then governor of the State. She said she attended a program, for the physically challenged, organised by Mr Peter Obi then in Anambra, and she was given a chance to address the gathering. She used the opportunity to appeal to the governor to provide jobs for the many educated and unemployed physically challenged persons resident in the state.

 

Dr Edeh, who has hearing difficulty, said: “I didn’t have a sign language interpreter when I attended that programme. But I am happy that you readily gave me audience to voice my concerns, even when those around didn’t listen to me. Two months after the programme, many of the physically challenged persons got jobs. Some enjoyed fat salaries, when compared to other states. They were all happy and jubilant. That was the genesis of Disability Inclusion in Anambra State. That is the kind of leadership we so desire in our country.”

 

For her part, a Disability Advocate and member of the Network, Ndifreke Andrew-Essien, urged Peter Obi to remain committed in protecting the rights of the physically challenged, and advancing their opportunities in life, even at the national level. She stated that the physically challenged will fulfill their potentials in life if a thriving environment is created for them.

 

In his remarks, Obi assured that he will continue to uphold the inclusion of the people with various needs in his government. He stated that he will pay more attention to the physically challenged than to the able bodies. He said: “You are a very important part of our society, and we love you sincerely. If anyone of us is physically challenged, then we are all challenged. We will continue to show you care and support and help you realise your dreams in life – that is the only way we can build a healthy society for all.”

 

The Secretary General of the Network, Rev Dr Evans Onyemara, appreciated Obi for spending time with them and sharing words of encouragement. He prayed God to help Obi achieve his political ambitions for the good of the nation.

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