The chairman of the House Committee on Social Welfare/Rehabilitation and Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission RSIEC and member representing Khana Constituency 1 in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Legborsi Nwidadah said the bill before the House of Assembly for the physically challenged is for everybody and should be given a positive suggestion for easy passage.
He stated this during the hearing on the bill at the Assembly auditorium on May 10, 2012.
Hon. Nwidadah in his remark told stakeholders that most of the physically challenged persons today were not born with those deformities, but nature, environment and even accidents could pose such a challenge most especially at old age.
The Khana soft-spoken politician said the bill was a hybrid one which will take care of our people if passed.
He said “This bill is for our future, our tomorrow and we need positive suggestions so that the bill could be passed and signed into law subsequently.
Hon. Legborsi recognized the fact that most of the physically challenged persons are educated in all ramifications in different fields of endeavour and should be supported by the society and not be abandoned or subjected to pity.
Earlier, the speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree represented by Hon. Benjamin Horsfall, in his opening remarks enjoined the stakeholders to deploy their sense of commitment, love and dedication to quality suggestions which will at the end put an end to the predicament of those with disabilities.
The speaker said time has come when the society should not let the intelligence and the ideas of those who are physically challenged to be rejected by our uncaring attitude.
In his address the commission for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Hon. Joe Poroma said the bill is timely.
Also speaking, the chairman Joint Association of People with Disabilities in Rivers State, Mr. Fredrick Amakiri, commended the sponsor of the bill, Miss Victoria Nyeche for the effort in originating the private member bill in support of the people with disabilities in Rivers State.
Mr. Amakiri who is blind or visually impaired, stated that his condition did not stop him from being educated as he is a Master Degree holder. He suggested that the council according to the Bill, should have six representatives representing different bodies of the physically challenged and only those in this condition should be allowed to take decision.
Directing the affairs of the Public Hearing on the Bill, Hon. Innocent Barikor said government will partner with the Civil Society, the Daughters of Charity and other well-meaning people of the state to continue to support the people with disabilities.
Others who contributed on the Bill showed great concern about the plight of those physically challenged, but suggested that the Bill should consider and take care of them from child birth in the hospital, especially during the payment of the medical bill when the parents discover that their child is deformed in one way or the other.
One of the representatives of the deaf said the government should consider them by providing an interpreter during news and also at hospitals when they are consulting the doctor. In support of the Bill, Mrs. Esther Victor of Pride of Africa and Dr. Alison Otana suggested that the Rivers State government should consider the physically challenged persons for award of scholarship and Budget inclusion and they should be integrated into the society. ###