The Abia State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities bill into law.
The Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Chinedum Orji, while making the announcement during the plenary, said the law would be cited as “The Abia State Commission for Disabled Persons Law.”
Orji congratulated his colleagues and said that the 7th Assembly was committed to promoting people-oriented bills.
He announced that the bill, upon being assented to by the Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, should be deemed to have come into force on Aug. 31, 2022.
The sponsor of the bill and Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Paul Taribo, described it was a landmark bill that would go along way in placing the destiny of persons with disabilities in their hands.
Taribo, who is representing Ukwa East, expressed gratitude to the Speaker and other members of the House for their efforts in ensuring the passage.
“I’m confident that it will soon be assented to by the governor and implemented, in order to give persons with disabilities a sense of belonging”.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), Mr David Anyaele, who had been be fighting for the welfare of persons with disabilities, applauded the lawmakers for the passage.
Anyaele described the passage as a strong demonstration by the lawmakers that all lives are precious, in particular the lives of residents with disabilities.
He stated: “Persons with disabilities in Abia State are the most excluded in governance at the subnational level in Nigeria due to absence of legal framework for the protection of the rights and dignity.
“With the passage of this bill, the end of exclusion of Abia residents with disabilities in governance by state and none state actors is coming to an end.”
He called on the Clerk, Mr Pedro Irokansi, to speedily clean up the bill for onward transmission to the governor for his assent.
Anyaele equally urged the governor not to hesitate to sign the bill into law, “as his wife has committed so much to get this bill passed.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill had suffered setbacks as it was earlier passed by the 5th Assembly but was not assented to by Ikpeazu.
It was again brought back to the floor of the House during the 6th Assembly but it failed to scale through.