The Gbong Gwom Jos and Chairman, Plateau State Traditional Council, Da Jacob Buba, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take a look at the recommendations made at the National Conference organized by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, as there are areas where if implemented, would improve the lot of the citizens and add value to the society.
The Gbong Gwom Jos, who acknowledged that the Confab was not a perfect one, added that the recommendations were not entirely irrelevant so as to be thrown into the thrash bin. Speaking at his palace in Jos while playing host to the Senior Special Adviser to President Buhari on Disability Matters, Dr. Samuel Ankeli, the Royal father also assured people with disability resident in the state that members of the traditional institution would work with them and create room for them to contribute their quota in improving the values in the society.
He commended President Buhari for appointing a disabled person into office as a Special Adviser on Disabled Matters and urged the SSA who is on a nationwide tour to sensitized the people on the need to give the disabled the chance to add value in the society, not to relent in his good work.
His words: “I appreciate what you are doing, we are going to work together because there are values which people with disability can add to the society. Honestly we do not consciously consider the disabled persons in projects but I promise to accommodate the needs of the disabled in our projects.
“At the National Conference, many issues including that of the disabled were discussed. President Buhari should have a look at the recommendations made, they may not be perfect, but can add value to governance. We can leverage on them to build the capacity of the disabled and the traditional institution will lend its support in your areas of engagement with government.”
Earlier, Dr. Samuel Ankeli had appealed to traditional rulers in the country to impress upon their subjects the need to allow children with disability to attend schools so as to gain knowledge which will enable them contribute their quota in governance and eradicate the begging habit which some disabled persons engage in.
Dr. Ankeli also urged the Traditional institution to give room in their cabinets to disabled person who would add value in key decision making as well as sensitized parents on the need to allow their children get married to physically challenged persons if they so desire.
The Senior Special Adviser lamented the plight of the disabled in the country saying despite their contributions to national development, the society disdains and harasses them to the point that they recoil, become disillusioned and lose interest in life.
According to him, “We are touring the 36 states to discuss disability issues. People with disability are Nigerians but this set of over 25 million people suffer the most in every situation. When there is crises, they suffer the most so the rights and privileges of the disabled should be protected.
“We are here to ask you as an ambassador for the disabled persons to advocate to include the disabled persons in discussions. A living dog is better than a dead lion, we can do things better than some able bodied because our brains are functional but the key is education and empowerment. Three million children living with disability are out of schools. Encourage parents to release their disabled children to go to school and people should not harass or intimidate them.
“We are also being faced with the challenge of marriage; people don’t like marrying us but our brains are intact. Please talk to people to allow their children marry the disabled if they so desire. The disabled are not remembered for titles but we can contribute our quota if given the opportunity. We need all the supports from government, traditional rulers and individual to add value to the society.”