Gombe State Disability Bill nears passage after 15 years of advocacy

Adamu Isiyaku Gombe, Gombe State Chairman of JONAPWD with some members of the association during the press conference.

After a decade and a half of unwavering advocacy and dedication, persons with disabilities in Gombe State are on the brink of a significant milestone - the passage and assent of the Gombe State Disability Bill into law. 

The chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) in Gombe State, Adamu Isiyaku Gombe, expressed profound optimism during a press conference, highlighting that the bill has reached a crucial stage in the legislative process, moving closer to becoming a reality after years of persistent efforts. 

This development marks a historic moment for the disability community in Gombe State, offering hope for improved rights and opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

When the bill is finally assented by the Executive Governor, it will see to the establishment of Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

According to Adamu, the governor made a commitment to the persons with disabilities when he gave them audience at the Government House in 2019 followed by a press statement in support of their cause in 2023.

"We were made to put pressure on the ministry of justice to bring out the draft bill just as we have done a lot of ground work at the State House of Assembly. 

"This has given us optimism for a positive response to the bill and it is with this that we hope to celebrate the governor's 5th anniversary in office by May 29, 2024 with the disability bill passed and assented.

"Eighteen States are already enjoying this law, which provides for free education, health for persons with disabilities as well as access to public buildings among other considerations and rights that should be enjoyed by persons with disabilities.

"I believe the legislative process should not take more than one week and establishing the commission is not a big deal, he will not require new structures or personnel so we are very optimistic," Adamu pointed out.

However, addressing journalists during the press conference on behalf of JONAPWD, Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (ANGO) in Gombe State and Advocacy For Disability Act Cluster (ADAC), ANGO Secretary, Bachama Yusuf, said the current stage of the process has given them high hopes of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

He appreciated Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for always identifying with the disability community in the State.

According to him, "this has given us hope that His Excellency will transmit the Disability Bill to Gombe State House of Assembly and the governor in his usual magnanimity will assent to it as soon as the bill is being passed and establish the Disability Commission."

He also stated that the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice did not only review the draft bill, but also enriched its content.

He appreciated the chairman of the State House of Assembly Committee on Education, Shu'aibu Adamu, for his commitment and passion toward the passage of the disability bill in the State.
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