Ogun Assembly Justifies Bills On Disability, Violence Prohibition

The need to create a level playing ground for people living with disabilities towards attaining their life goals without hindrances like their counterparts in the society, informs the content of the bill being sponsored by the Ogun State House of Assembly.

This was the submission of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Suraju Ishola Adekunbi, while declaring open a stakeholders’ forum on the bill titled: “HB No 012/OG/2017- a bill for a law to eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities, equalize their opportunities in all aspect of life in the society and for other matters incidental thereto”, saying the forum was an avenue for the people of the State to contribute their inputs to the bill for an all – inclusive legislation.
According to the Speaker, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, the bill would protect the physically challenged people in the society in view of the perceived alarming rate of discrimination and harmful treatments against them.

“The Assembly in its bid to address this ugly occurrence confronting people living with disability in our society, initiated this bill to eliminate all forms of discrimination or barriers facing them in order to enjoy equal opportunities with able bodied people in the society in all ramifications,’’ the Speaker stated.
At the plenary, the Assembly also aired the views of stakeholders on another bill titled: “HB N0. 013/OG/2017- “A Bill for a law prohibiting all forms of violence against persons including physical, psychological, sexual and domestic and to provide for maximum protection and effective remedies and punishment of offenders and other matters connected therewit.’’

The Speaker in company with the Chief Whip, Idowu Olowofuja, Honourables Akinpelu Aina, Jimi Otukoya, Olusola Sonuga and Julianah Akintayo, stressed the need to protect people especially the vulnerable group against all forms of violence so as to promote equity, equality and justice for all.
He noted that the two bills were meant to promote a culture of evidence-based planning and decision making for good governance for the attainment of over-all rebuilding Mission in the State.
While lending a voice to the bill, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Abiola Kufile-Okonji, lauded the Assembly for the development, pledging necessary support by the Ministry to the bill towards eliminating all forms of discrimination against people with disability and achieving its implementation.
Stakeholders who made presentations at the forum described the bill as progressive and comprehensive, extolling the State government for maintaining the schools for the disabled in the State, with a call for the establishment of a bureau involving people with disabilities for the effective implementation of the bill when passed into law.
The stakeholders included the representatives of Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Mr. Adebesin Abiodun, Federation of Disability Platform, Mr. Gbenga Gbesan, the disabled in the Media, Mrs. Oluwatomisin Adeyefa, Public Analyst, Mr. Ola Animashaun and the representative of the State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Segun Olaotan.
Also contributing, the Chairman, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Comrade Yinka Folarin and Director of Special Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Elijah Akinyemi, Executive Director, Women Advocate, Dr. Abiola Akiyode, Deputy Chief Registrar, State Judiciary, Mr. Anthony Araba and that of Parasports Athletes in the State Mr. Adebakin Ogunwoye, noted that the bill, when passed by the Assembly and eventually signed into law would address the plights of people living with disabilities.
They added that the bill would promote education of people with disabilities, but appealed for an enabling legislation that would further cater for the welfare of the workers in the special school as well as financial intervention for Paralympics sports.
In her closing remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Yetunde Sogbein-Adekanbi and her Justice, Ethics and Public Petition counterpart, Adebowale Ojuri, opined that the forum was an avenue for the Assembly as a people-oriented institution to collate and aggregate the views and opinions of members of the public in order to incorporate them into the proposed bill before its passage to law.

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