The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has promised to discuss the possibility of creating a ministry to cater to the welfare of Persons with Disabilities with President Bola Tinubu.
This was even as he gave an assurance that the National Working Committee of the party will also reach out to governors to see how members of the APC PWDs can be appointed as cabinet members.
Adamu gave the pledge during the APC PWDs national conference for zonal and state leaders held at the party secretariat in Abuja on Monday.
Addressing the audience, the former Nasarawa governor disclosed that he understands and empathises with the plights of physically challenged persons in the country.
He stated that if the Federal Government can create a ministry for Youth and Women’s Affairs, the population of PWDs is also huge enough to deserve one.
“If we do have a Ministry of Women Affairs and Youths, I think this constituency is big enough. The NWC will take whatever step is appropriate. When we meet the president to convey this message because, for me, it’s a message, it is not an assignment. It is my prayer that we succeed so that one of the ministries will be for the PWDs.
“We will sit with government at federal and state level to see what we can do along the prayers that one of us in the course of the interventions would be allowed. We shall see how best this administration can extend some patronage to the PWDs. This is a desirable goal to work for. And I want to assure you that God helping us, we would make sure that you feel some differences.
“However, I don’t want to be promising everybody something. We will try to see how governors can appoint you as board members and get at least one commissioner. It will go a long way for you to know that we care,” he stated.
A communiqué issued at the end of the zonal and state conference also canvassed for the creation of a separate ministry to accommodate the welfare of the physically challenged and the vulnerable in society.
The statement was read by the Zonal Leader of South-South PWDs, Edet Ita, who praised President Bola Tinubu for his resilience and doggedness in the attempt to achieve the ‘Renewed Hope’ manifesto.
While begging the president not to abandon PWDs to their fate, he appealed for empowerment, affordable health services and political inclusion at the cabinet, board of Ministries, Departments and Agencies levels in his government.
“More importantly, we call for the creation of a PWD Ministry saddled with the onerous task of ensuring strict implementation of the letter and intent of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018. We are aware that the five years window for compliance by both private and public sectors came into effect this year. Similarly, we urge all states to create PWDs ministries devoted to inclusion.
“For these reasons, we recommend the APC PWDs leader, Tolu Bankole for a ministerial cabinet appointment in your government based on his pedigree, competence and commitment to nation-building over the years. Bankole has been at the forefront of advocacy for us, serving meritoriously and excellently so far as the PWDs national leader of our great party, APC.
“He also organised and sponsored the first PWDs National summit at NICON Hilton Abuja where far-reaching solutions to address the unabating problems bedeviling the poorest and most vulnerable in Nigeria have been articulated,” he said.