Governor Udom Emmanuel

Abasifreke Effiong – Uyo

Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD, has appealed to the Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, to pay due attention to the needs of Persons With Disabilities, PWDs, in distribution of palliatives on the COVID-19 lockdown.

CCD in a statement by her Executive Director, David Anyaele, says persons with disabilities are the worst affected as a result of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The organisation called on the Akwa Ibom state government to create a disability desk and engage a sign language interpreter at isolation centers to make COVID-19 response in the state disability compliant.

“We urge the Governor of Akwa Ibom state to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and protection of Persons with Disabilities as clearly stated in Section 25 of the Nigeria Disability Law.

“The Akwa Ibom State government plans to send palliatives to all villages in Akwa Ibom State to assist residence during lockdown. As such we urge the government to ensure that Persons with Disabilities are given priority in the distribution of these relief materials.”

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“This appeal is very important as the Akwa Ibom state government is yet to sign the state Disability Law that prohibits discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization and marginalization of Persons with Disabilities thereby living thousands of Persons with Disabilities unprotected in Akwa Ibom state.”

“We call on the Akwa Ibom state government to include sign language interpreters and disability desk officers in its 300 bed isolation centre in Ituk Mbang and other isolation centres in Ikot Ekpene and Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo and Coronavirus testing laboratories to make the process disability compliant.”

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The statement added that CCD will monitor the extent of access and inclusion of Akwa Ibom persons with disabilities in the distribution of the palliatives.