From Mba Nnenna – Abakaliki.
The United States Agency for International Development, USAID State2State Activity, Ebonyi has urged stakeholders on proactive inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream societal activities.
This was unveiled during a 3days workshop, organized by the agency, at Adig suites, Abakaliki.
The theme of the training was tagged: Training For Ebonyi State Ministry or Local Government, Chieftaincy and Rural Development and Target LGAs on Disability Inclusion and GESI.
Highlighting on the activity, the Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist (GESl) for USAID State2State Activity Ebonyi state, Ejiro Okotie, stated that it’s a governance activity which works with the state government to ensure there is Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness, for efficient management of public financial resources that can improve service delivery, while ensuring that every citizen of Ebonyi state, including persons with disabilities, participates effectively.
According to Okotie, a GESI assessment was done by State2State, and one of the key finding was the “Need for more Inclusion of persons with disabilities in Ebonyi state governance”. Hence the need to make sure various stakeholders have detailed knowledge of what disability inclusion is, particularly local government areas and the Ministry of Local Government.
People with disabilities live in communities in local governments, and if they must participate in budget processes and in decision making within their communities, then there’s a need to educate and also equip stakeholders from local government and within communities, on Disability Inclusion.
Among the participants were; Traditional Rulers from 4 different local government in the state; Abakaliki, Ikwo, Ebonyi, and Ohaozara. This according to the Gender Specialist is due to their important role as community heads, to help achieve the desired result.
Reacting, one of the traditional rulers/ participant, Eze Sir Dominic Ibor Alor, KSJ JP, of Amagu Ikwo in Ikwo LGA pledged to go back home, identify persons with disabilities and get interested in their affairs.
“I’ll do a lot and tell people who didn’t attend this workshop, to know that people with disabilities are equally personalities like we are. They should be given equal participation and treatment.”
Also, Miss Agbo Elizabeth, representative of Joint National Association of Persons with Disability, JONAPWD, Ebonyi state chapter, said the training has made her well informed of her rights/entitlement as a person with limb impairment, and that her contribution is needed in the society. She equally promised to take the training home to other people with disabilities in her community.