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Governor Amaechi Raises Hope of Disables

The Rivers State governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, said government will do everything it can to assist people with disability in the state.
The governor make the remark at the capacity building forum for persons with disabilities organized by the ministry of social welfare and rehabilitation at the Ministry of Justice, Secretariat, Port Harcourt on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.
The governor who was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru, said those with disabilities did not chose to be in that condition, but either it was by accident or they have the accident from birth. The state executive used the occasion to call on individuals and corporate organizations to always have compassion with people with disabilities.
He commended the commission for the ideas behind the capacity forum saying what they have started today will in the nearest future bear fruit.
The governor’s representative, Engr. Tele Ikuru stated that society should always treat people with disabilities with love, care and understanding. By so doing, he said they will not feel discriminated against or feel isolated.
Also speaking, the wife of the Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi, described the less privileged as strong, wealthy and healthy. Dame Amaechi said this present administrators will have the people at heart and that government will always recognize them in whatever they do.
She said when you give to the poor, you give to God, adding that if people could imagine that by lending to the poor they are also giving to God, they would do more.
The wife of the governor called on Nigerians to be generous towards the poor and the people with disabilities in the society.
Earlier, the commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Rivers State, Hon. Joe P. Poroma, in his address, said from the inception, this present administration has done a lot to impact on the lives of persons living with disability in the state.
The commissioner stated such provisions to the welfare of people with disabilities as provision of overseas and local scholarships and establishment of a taxi scheme to provide mobility and other assistance to them.
Hon. Poroma however stated that the ministry still have more to do, since the people with disabilities are so many, especially those living in the rural areas that have not benefited from the various programmes done by the ministry.
He posited that government could not do all to alleviate the problems of the people with disabilities and called on public-spirited individuals, groups and corporate organizations to also play some of the roles by assisting government to achieve its desired objective.
The commissioner outlined some of the challenges with people with disabilities to include, gross discrimination, neglect, non-inclusion, deprivation and stigmatization, and called on the society to treat them with high sense of equality.
He noted that those with disabilities have great potentials for growth, development and improvement, while advising them to move from a pitiable and disadvantaged position, inferiority complex and self-condemnation to position of trust, creating wealth and move into makeshift employment, such as creativity, sports and craftsmanship.
In his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Apostle Eugene Ogu, the General Overseer of Abundant Life Evangel Mission, Port Harcourt, said both the National and state Houses of Assembly should pass a bill to make it mandatory for people with disabilities to have equal opportunity with others.
The general overseer who has a programme for the less-privileged in his church said it was not enough to have pity on them, but how to assist them to be recognized in the society and occupy positions of trust, both in government and private organizations.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of papers by people with disabilities, songs, comedy and award to the wife of the governor, Dame Amaechi and Apostle Eugene Ogu. ###

Pius Dukor

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