Abia State First Lady, Nkechi Ikpeazu, and Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, David Obinna Anyaele, have commended the Abia State House of Assembly for passing the Disability Law on Wednesday.
Ikpeazu, who is the Founder, Vicar Hope Foundation, described the House of Assembly as “indeed populated by legislators who are working for the people and having the best interest of Abians at heart”.
In a statement signed by her Chief Press Secretary, Chika Ojiegbe, Mrs Ikpeazu commended the sponsors of the bill, Hon. Paul Taribo, Mr David Anyaele of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, people living with disability in Abia and several stakeholders for their roles in supporting the passage of the bill.
She noted, “I am sure that the Disability Law will also bring about huge dividends for Abians, especially our family members who have disability challenges. They will get better treatment, access to improved welfare and greater inclusiveness in the polity”.
“There is another topical bill before the House, the Obnoxious Widowhood Practices Prohibition Bill I am promoting, and I believe that the hardworking and proactive House under Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji will soon pass that into law.
“This would be timely, especially against the backdrop of recent incidence that saw a widow serially abused by her community in Abia”, she said.
The statement added, “Mrs. Ikpeazu is no stranger to legislative engagements. She is perhaps the only First Lady in the country that has had the rare privilege of addressing lawmakers on the legislative floor during a House Plenary. She is currently driving efforts to review obsolete portions of the State Child Rights Law originally passed in 2006.”
Also expressing his excitement, Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, said, “I received with joy today the news of the passage of Abia State Disability Bill by Rt. Hon. Chinedu Orji-led House of Assembly.
“The passage of this bill is a strong demonstration by the Abia State House of Assembly that all lives are precious, in particular, the lives of Abians with disabilities.”
According to him, persons with disabilities in Abia State are the most excluded in governance at the subnational level in Nigeria due to absence of legal framework for the protection of the rights and dignity.
“With the passage of this bill, the exclusion of Abians with disabilities in governance by State and none State actors is coming to an end,” he said.
He called on the Clerk of the Abia State House of Assembly, JohnPedro Irokansi, to “speedily clean up the bill for onward transmission to the State Governor for his assent”, and advised Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu not to hesitate to sign the bill into law as his wife has committed so much to get the bill passed into law.