From Salim Umar Ibrahim, Kano
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state, has assented the People Living With Disability Law, 2018.
He signed the law during the Executive Council meeting, at the Council Chamber, Government House, Kano.
The law will fight for the rights of those living with disability in the society. It will provide for them platform to get access to opportunities into public spaces, hinting that, “…this Law is the first of its kind in this part of the country. It shows our serious concern to those living with disability.”
Another history, according to the governor, has been made, “…particularly in the area of those with special needs. We can understand that these people have been suffering for decades, from marginalisation. Not because of their fault. But simply because of their disability,” he complains.
Encouraging that, government and the society must give them all the
necessary concern and love for them to know that they are also human beings. “They are also part of the productive population for all to know,” he said.
Ganduje added that, “The law is not concerned only about the social aspect of these special people, but even our building design is taken into consideration. That henceforth when government is building any edifice, we must be concerned also about how such people could get access to public spaces.”
He further explained that, “Since we are going to give them special concern in our working places, their access into such working places is also being considered. If we are building upstairs there must be provision for them on how to get access to the last floor. Meaning our architectural design in government offices should take them into consideration too.”
That was why the governor gave out directive to government departments responsible for the construction of government offices, to, henceforth take those people into account, while designing structures.
He expressed his satisfaction that the law also takes care about the education of those living with disability. He is happy that their access to education is included in the legal document.
Governor Ganduje discloses that, “While following every letter of the provision of the law, we will also consider them in our empowerment programmes, this government is doing. We must make sure that they feel highly belonged. Our efforts and commitment will all be geared towards eliminating stigmatisation of this all-important segment of our population.”
While assuring that they would be considered in government empowerment programmes, he reminded that, “Those of them that cannot cope in any of our empowerment programmes and training, due to the peculiar nature of their disability, government will come up with a Social Security Scheme, solely for them.”
Under the Social Security Scheme, Ganduje said “…government will provide them with some monthly allowances for them to feel loved, belonged and heartily accepted by all segments of the society.”
Coincidentally, as governor reminded, he assented to the Law a day after the International Day for People Living With Disability across the globe.
Briefing the Council before the official presentation of the law to the governor for his assent, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Ibrahim Mukhtar, highlighted that the law has three parts, fighting for the rights of people living with disability, their education and their protection against stigmatisation.
Mukhtar said “Many stakeholders took part in putting many parts together that finally constituted into the formal document, that His Excellency is assenting to today. Your Excellency Sir this Law serves as a safe heaven for those living with disability.”
“During the course of drafting this document Your Excellency we came across many stakeholders, both within and outside those living with disability. We worked tirelessly with a Professor from Bayero University, Kano, who is a blind Your Excellency. Among many other critical stakeholders Sir. This tells us that, yes indeed there is ability in disability.”
Albinos rights, according the Attorney General, are also protected and promoted under this Law. “It is an all-encompassing legal document Your Excellency,” Barrister Mukhtar concludes.