By Joseph Erunke, Abuja
The Federal Government, Wednesday, vowed to continue in its pursuit of policies favourable to persons with disabilities in the country.
The government said it would stand firm in supporting the disabled so that their inclusion, rights, and participation in the society were given utmost priority. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, spoke in Abuja, at a media briefing her ministry organised to mark the International Week of the Deaf and International Day of Sign Languages.
“Let me assure you that the Federal government, through the ministry, will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all persons with disabilities in Nigeria are carried along in governance by removing all barriers which before now posed as a hindrance for the effective functioning of persons with disabilities”, she vowed.
She insisted that the ministry will continue to support all Persons with Disabilities PWD and the Deaf to ensure that their inclusion, rights, and participation in the society are given utmost priority.
Noting that “the ministry has been in the forefront of ensuring that the Nigeria Disability Commission is established to assuage the yearnings and aspirations of all persons with disabilities in Nigeria”, Farouq explained that, “The purpose of the International Day of Sign Languages among others is to promote linguistic identity and culture of deaf people all over the world.”
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Earlier, the Secretary-General of the Nigeria National Association of the Deaf, Chidi Topaz Oluije thanked the minister for marking the day in Nigeria as ten million persons are said to be deaf according to the World Health Organization.
“According to WHO, ten million persons are Deaf in Nigeria. This shows that Sign Language is important for us to be able to mix with both the Deaf and the Hearing world and participate in politics, health, or any sector in the country”.
The celebration stems from the United Nations Resolution A/RES/72/161 adopted in 2017 which recognizes September 23 as the International Day of Sign Languages.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Rights’. The event will be marked from September 26-30, 2020 by all stakeholders in Kano.