The Plateau chapter of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities has called on the state government to provide free education and healthcare services for its members and their relatives.
Shindol Aaron, the chairman of the association in the state, made the call at a news conference to commemorate the 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) on Friday in Jos.
Mr Aaron, who decried that PWDs in the state had been neglected, also called on the government to grant them soft loans, stating that such a move would boost their means of livelihoods.
He decried the lack of shelter, quality education, and sustainable means of livelihood for the members in the state.
‘We call on the government to grant employment waiver to employable PWDs, roll out empowerment packages, and provide free education and healthcare services to PWDs and their families.
“The government should grant soft loans to encourage our members to own businesses, and PWDs should also be considered for appointments into public offices because our disabilities are not death sentences.
“We also urge the government to consider our members with the requisite requirements for five per cent of contracts, as enshrined in the Disability Rights Act.
“ PWDs deserve to live a good and decent life just like any other person, and to achieve this, we appeal to the government to grant us those requests,’ he said.
He mentioned that due to the poverty level, PWDs in the state were prone to all kinds of diseases and could easily become victims of social ills, calling on the state government to act.
‘We are susceptible to all kinds of diseases because of malnutrition; we live in houses that are not habitable, and our children fall victims to social vices because we can’t cater to their needs.
“ With the hike in the cost of transportation due to the removal of fuel subsidy, moving from one point to another has been a tasking for us,” he lamented.
Mr Aaron called on Gov. Caleb Mutfwang to appoint PWDs into the state’s Disability Commission, saying that would give PWDs a sense of belonging.