A Warri-based non-governmental organization, NGO, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), in collaboration with the Empowerment for Global Disability Aid Initiative and Shola Mense Foundation, marked the International Day of Persons with Disability on the 3rd of December, 2019 in line with the United Nations' collective action to mainstream disability and build an inclusive, accessible and sustainable world for all.
The President of Empowerment for Global Disability Aid Initiative, Dr. Kenneth Edun traced the history of the event and highlighted its significance to persons with disabilities, stressing that the Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992 by Resolution 47/3.
He said the event was aimed at promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and also to make the society more aware about the political, socio-economic and cultural lives of people with disabilities.
For his part, Mr. Clemet Partick, Coordinator of Shola Mese Foundation, who represented the President and Founder of the Foundation, Mr. Shola Mese, implored the participants to apply for the ongoing economic empowerment skills acquisition training being facilitated by the Foundation in parts of Delta State.
The address of the National Coordinator of Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Comrade Sheriff Mulade, the brain behind the Africa for Peace Agenda, was read by the Center's Secretary, Mrs. Ovuodo Ayibatare-Goh. In the address, Comrade Mulade thanked God Almighty for enabling everyone to witness this year’s International Day of Persons with Physical challenges, and enjoined participants to make the most of the moment.
Speaking on behalf of the NGO's Board and Management, CEPEJ's Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Godwin Orhadahwe described the event as crucial to the socio-economic and political inclusion of all, especially people who have succeeded despite their physical challenges.
Chief Orhadahwe said over the years, people living with disabilities had suffered neglect in development because they saw themselves as inferior to others. He therefore charged participants never to end up disconnected, living in isolation and facing discrimination and or stigmatization.
He noted that millions of people all over the world live with various physical challenges but many of them are today great men and women in their various careers because they did not give up on themselves. He however appealed to them never to allow their physical states push them into being aggressive and temperamental in their day to day dealings with others.
Dr. Orhadahwe charged relevant stakeholders including the government and well meaning Nigerians to support the physically challenged towards achieving greatness in life. He also advised participants to help themselves by taking meaningful steps to be part of socio-economic development to make them more visible and inclusive through the efforts of the global community.
The CEPEJ Board Chairman said the NGO believes that no one should be left behind and recognizes the fact that disability is a global issue to be considered in the attainment of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
He asserted that CEPEJ marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to highlight the rights of physically challenged persons, and stressed the need for all stakeholders to be more committed towards achieving an inclusive, equitable and sustainable world where the rights of people with disabilities will be fully realized.