By Martins Ifijeh
A National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) member serving in Oshodi Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos State, Mr. Princewill Ahante, has called on all Persons Living With Disability (PLWD) in the local government to take advantage of the State’s free healthcare, free education and free transportation on all BRT buses.
He said it was important PLWD who were interested in doing business in the State to know they have access to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), adding that these informations will better position them for better living.
Stating this during a sensitisation programme for PLWD in the local government, he encouraged them to look beyond their disabilities and make good use of skills they had acquired in the past.
While calling on them to register with the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs, LASODA, he said he was passionate about better living PLWD because he also has the disability status.
“At the age of seven, I had a motor accident that made me disabled in my leg and in my hearing. And since then over the years I’ve had to have multiple surgeries at Igbobi Hospital and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). And I have had to cope with the physical and hearing challenges I’ve been faced with up till now.
“Because I know how challenging and frustrating it can be having a physical condition that makes one disadvantaged in our society today, I was motivated to socially empower people living with disabilities in the community I was posted to,” he said.
According to him, the most common disabilities in Nigeria involves vision, mobility and hearing, adding that an estimated 22 million people were loving with disabilities in the country. “And they face many obstacles, including stigma, invisibility and abuse. They have a harder time in school and a tougher time finding jobs.
“They do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others in areas of transportation, employment and education. They are denied their rights to vote, move freely, enjoy social protection, access to justice and choice of medical treatment. Women with disabilities face particular challenges and need to be empowered. Disabled children especially need our protection and support.”
He said he was bringing these informations to the disabled in the communities because only few disabled Lagosians have so far benefited from the State’s special privileges for disabled people.