Benue Gov’t to speed up domestication of Disability Act

By Henry Ibya, Makurdi

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Public Order in Benue State, Fidelis Mnyim, has assured stakeholders under the Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, JONAPWD, that the ministry of justice under his watch would do everything possible to ensure domestication of the disability Act enacted at the federal level in the state.

Mnyim who gave the assurance when he received stakeholders who were on advocacy visit to his office in Makurdi, ahead of their stakeholders consultative forum to brainstorm on possibilities of domesticating the disability Act in Benue State, expressed shock over delay in the domestication of the Act in the state especially that all other states within the North Central zone except Benue have complied with provisions of the law.

He expressed appreciation to the group for bringing the draft bill for government’s attention.

He said Governor Hyacinth Alia had promised during his campaign days to touch lives of all Benue citizens if elected with the PWDs inclusive through provision of dividends of democracy, expressing optimism that the present administration would give the necessary support for not just the passage of the law but ensure its full implementation in the state and assured them of government support.

In a presentation Executive Director, Inclusive Friends Association, IFA, Grace Jerry, represented by Stephen Idoko, said a coalition of Associations including Hope Alive for Possibilities Initiative, HAPI, National Endowment for Democracy and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, DRAF, and Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, JONAPWD, among others were in his office to press for the domestication of the disability Act in Benue State, explaining that Benue is the only state currently in the North Central that has not domesticated the law.

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In separate remarks, Executive Director, Hope Alive for Possibilities Initiative, HAPI, Aver Akighir, argued that the domestication would provide legal protection and recognition of the rights of PWDs in the state to ensure equal treatment under the law and access to justice, facilitate the provision of essential services and support mechanisms for PWDs such as health care, education, employment and social welfare programmes.

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