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JONAPWD Sets Up Interim Government

The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Rivers State branch, has finally reconciled their differences and set up a caretaker committee that will organize election that will usher in the authentic government to pilot their affairs.
The Association came to this resolution on Saturday January 28, 2012 at the School for the Handicap, along Creek Road, Port Harcourt when combined team of peace makers from ministry of social rehabilitations and JONAPWD national secretariat, Abuja sat on the issues.
The internal crises took the men not less than 8 hours before they finally reached the all accepted solution of caretakers to handle the affairs.
Speaking to the newsmen, the commissioner for social rehabilitation, Dr. Joe Poroma said that the committee is charged to authenticate membership registration and to organize congress that will elect executives of the branch.
The commissioner who spoke through an Assistant Director in the ministry, Mr. Mina A. Jamabo Frank about the disunity in the body, though lauded them for allowing every misunderstanding go so easily and advised them to speak with one voice for them to get what belongs to them from the government, explaining that they are a special association as government is very much responsible for them.
Jamabo has it that the association deserves 10% of the annual budget, 10% of the resource, and 10% employment range as it is generally accepted that 10% of the population are persons with disabilities.
He assured to take their plight to his commissioner and asked them to rest assured that government will look into their plight.
In his speech, the National Secretary Hon. Dandeson Hart, confirmed that the tenure of the ousted executives expired since 2009 and that they have not got any extension, hence they were there as caretaker pending election but there was no fund to organize election to move them out.
He explained that the election was postponed to enable registration to go on. He also said that six persons were supposed to come from each LGA and that one person should represent each of the six clusters of disabilities, the blind, deaf and dumb, physical disabilities, persons with spiral cord injuries, persons suffering from leprosy and persons suffering from intellectual disabilities.
He felt dismay at how a whole government will give N400,000 for the congress meeting, adding that this money could not do in transporting this people from 23 LGAs in the state and fund the congress.
Hart later pleaded that the government should not delay to fund the interim committee government so that they can conduct the election fast. He equally asked the governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, to appoint advisers of person with disabilities as stated in the United Nations charter.
In the same vein, he said the national body has reached INEC asking to construct polling booth in a way that wheel chair can drive in, print ballot papers to enable blind identify different symbols on the paper, as well as placing sign interpreters in the polling stations. This he said, is to enable these people to vote the person of their choice in any of the elections, on their own.
The state president, Comrade Fredrick I. Amakiri told the press that the election was postponed due to the presence of unregistered persons with disabilities who came to disrupt the election and advised that interested and intending members should go and register now to fulfill the constitutional requirement, explaining that though the association struggled for all suffering with disabilities, until one is registered with the association, he/she is not a member. ###

Mene Gbarabe

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