The Kogi State Government on Thursday reaffirmed its support for the physically challenged and other people living with disabilities in the state.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Wemi Jones, gave the assurance when a group from Advocacy for Women with Disability Initiatives (AWWDI), visited him in his office in Lokoja.
Jones urged the group to believe in themselves and in abilities embedded in their disabilities, describing them as a ”Special People”.
”I will refer to you as special people and not people with disabilities, so, I have a natural attachment to you.
”Let me also let you know that His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello, is also very passionate about special people,” he said.
He reiterated that the governor remained so much passionate about women, children and special people, saying ”we don’t have a choice, I don’t have a hidden a place; I must associate and identify with you.”
He assured them of the ministry’s total support and promised that their requests would be properly looked, adding that they would be duly informed of the ministry’s activities and be carried along.
Jones further enjoined the group to see themselves as people with no deformity or disability, saying, ”you have got no issue whatsoever because it is in the mind; don’t allow yourselves to be pitied but believe in yourselves.
”Believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you because God has a purpose for that, so, you must continue to see yourselves as champions.”
Earlier in her speech, Miss Queen Christopher, the State Coordinator of AWWDI, said they were women with disabilities who advocate for total inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in Kogi.
She urged the ministry to involve the group in any of its developmental and educational activities that concern young girls.
”We also want you to include us in your scholarship programmes as we have lots of girls with disabilities who have the dreams to be educated but are limited due to financial constraints.
”We want you to use your good offices to advocate for inclusive education to help us break some barriers as concern the education of people with disabilities in Kogi.
”We would also want you to consider some of us to be employed into viable positions in your ministry any time recruitment exercise takes place,” she said.
Christopher appealed for a continuous engagement with the commissioner so as to be part of the group’s goal in promoting and advocating for total inclusion of Women and Girls with disability in all aspect of life development. (NAN)