Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has been awarded Most Disability- Friendly Governor in Nigeria by the Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPED), Delta State chapter.
The award was given at the event of the State annual luncheon, organized by the State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development in honour of persons with disability, held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
The wife of the Governor, Dame Edith Okowa, while receiving the award on behalf of the State Governor, commended the association for allowing peace to reign in the state.
She, however, admonished them not to restrain from peacefully making their requests known, while promising that whatever requests made would be attended to.
Dame Okowa assured members of the association of the commitment of the State Government to ensuring their continuous welfare.
“I want to assure you that the Governor, Senator (Dr)Ifeanyi Okowa has your interest at heart; he loves you so much and is ever willing to make life easier for you”, she said.
The wife of the Governor emphasized that no one was created totally empty. In her words, “What you lack in one area, God replenishes in another area. No one is created empty’.
The Commissioner, Delta State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Mrs. Flora Alanta, in her remark, noted that the third edition of the luncheon served as an indication of the lofty plans of the state toward giving hope to the physically-challenged in the state.
The State Chairman, JONAPED, Comrade Isaac Obruche, while delivering his speech, appreciated the Okowa-led administration for giving admirable attention to persons living with disabilities in the state.
In his words, “Okowa’s government has broken barriers that had before now, hindered our growth, thus proving that disability is not a death sentence.
“We have awarded him the most disability-friendly Governor in Nigeria because we interact with our members from other states and are privy to how other governors sweep issues concerning disabled persons under the carpet”.
He said hope had been restored to disabled persons in Delta State, especially given their sensitive inclusion into the Job and Wealth Creation packages.
According to Obruche, “Over 150 disabled persons have benefitted from Job Creation Empowerment Programmes and we have our members who have now become Chief Executive Officers (CEOS) of their own organizations”, he submitted.
He, however, on behalf of the association appealed for the provision of a dependable means of mobility to facilitate their attendance of national events.
“Even though we strongly recognize the efforts of the government in making us live better, we still appeal for more recognition, especially as it has to do with political appointments to our members”, the chairman appealed.
The event, which attracted a crowd of disabled persons from across the 25 Local Government Areas of the state, featured the distribution of start-up equipment and mobility aids to selected disabled persons.
Some of the beneficiaries; Joy Oyibode, Kenneth Ochomike and Darlington Nwabiaji received a hair dressing starter-up equipment, shoe cobbling materials and walking aids, respectively.
Majority of the attendees had visible difficulty with walking, impaired vision, deafness and dumbness among several other challenges.
Food items and aids were also distributed, even as the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude, unanimously submitting that the administration had given them the peace they had long yearned for.