The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, pledged to discuss the idea of creating a ministry dedicated to the welfare of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) with President Bola Tinubu.
He also assured that the APC’s National Working Committee will talk to state governors about appointing APC PWD members to cabinet positions.
These commitments were made during the APC PWDs national conference for zonal and state leaders, held at the party’s secretariat in Abuja on Monday.
Speaking to the audience, the former Nasarawa governor expressed understanding and empathy for the challenges faced by physically challenged individuals in the country.
He pointed out that if the Federal Government could establish ministries for Youth and Women’s Affairs, the significant population of PWDs equally deserves one.
Adamu said, “If we do have a Ministry of Women Affairs and Youths, I think this constituency is big enough. The NWC will take whatever step is appropriate. When we meet the president to convey this message because, for me, it’s a message, it is not an assignment. It is my prayer that we succeed so that one of the ministries will be for the PWDs.
“We will sit with government at federal and state level to see what we can do along the prayers that one of us in the course of the interventions would be allowed. We shall see how best this administration can extend some patronage to the PWDs. This is a desirable goal to work for. And I want to assure you that God helping us, we would make sure that you feel some differences.
“However, I don’t want to be promising everybody something. We will try to see how governors can appoint you as board members and get at least one commissioner. It will go a long way for you to know that we care.”
A communiqué released following the zonal and state conference advocated for the establishment of a dedicated ministry to look after the well-being of the physically challenged and vulnerable members of society.
The South-South PWDs Zonal Leader, Edet Ita, read the statement. He commended President Bola Tinubu for his tenacity and determination in pursuing the ‘Renewed Hope’ manifesto.
In a heartfelt plea to the president, Ita urged that PWDs not be left to their own devices.
He called for empowerment, access to affordable health services, and political inclusion at the cabinet and board levels within Ministries, Departments, and Agencies under his administration.
Ita further stated, “More importantly, we call for the creation of a PWD Ministry saddled with the onerous task of ensuring strict implementation of the letter and intent of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018. We are aware that the five years window for compliance by both private and public sectors came into effect this year. Similarly, we urge all states to create PWDs ministries devoted to inclusion.
“For these reasons, we recommend the APC PWDs leader, Tolu Bankole for a ministerial cabinet appointment in your government based on his pedigree, competence and commitment to nation-building over the years. Bankole has been at the forefront of advocacy for us, serving meritoriously and excellently so far as the PWDs national leader of our great party, APC.”
“He also organised and sponsored the first PWDs National summit at NICON Hilton Abuja where far-reaching solutions to address the unabating problems bedevilling the poorest and most vulnerable in Nigeria have been articulated.”