The National Orientation Agency, Kogi State Directorate, recently organized an awareness campaign titled “Ending Discrimination and Non-inclusion of People Living with Disabilities” at the Modern Age Event Centre. The event garnered the participation of key stakeholders, including various disability associations, government bodies, non-governmental organizations, traditional and religious leaders, legal practitioners, security agencies, youth organizations, and the media. The initiative, driven by the Director General’s vision, aimed to raise awareness among People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) about their rights, privileges, and the laws protecting them in Nigeria.

During the program, the Kogi State Directorate Drama Group presented a compelling play titled “There is Ability in Disability,” effectively conveying the core message of the awareness campaign. Barrister William A. Aliwo delivered a lecture on the Disability Act, enlightening PWDs about the relevant laws securing their rights. He emphasized the importance of seeking redress when their rights are violated and highlighted the impending nationwide implementation of the law enacted in 2018. The Director General’s representative, Mrs. Okpalah Christy-Abiodun, underscored the significance of the National Disability Act, urging all stakeholders, including government ministries, departments, agencies, and the private sector, to actively contribute to its implementation for comprehensive disability inclusion across society.

In his remarks, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu commended the initiative and stressed the pivotal role of the Disability Act in addressing the critical needs of PWDs. He expressed concern about the low compliance and implementation of the act, leading to the exclusion of PWDs from various aspects of life. Issa-Onilu urged all participants to thoroughly examine the Disability Act, identify their roles in implementation and domestication, and collaborate to develop sustainable plans for positive change. The event received goodwill messages from representatives of disability groups, civil society organizations, religious and traditional bodies, youth groups, ICPC, LEGAL AID COUNCIL, the Personal Assistant to Gov Yahaya Bello on PWDs, and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

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