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Amina Yahaya Bello Appeals to President Buhari to Sign Disability Bill #WorldCPDay

Wife of the Governor of Kogi State, Mrs. Amina Oyiza Bello has made a passionate appeal to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Person’s With Disability Special Protection Bill into law, as this will help address the numerous problems and challenges facing Nigerians living with disability.

Speaking at a news conference to mark the October 6th, 2017 World Cerebral Palsy Day, Mrs. Bello also appealed to the government and school owners to make school environment-friendly for persons with disability while, putting in place measure to end stigma against such persons.

The Wife of the Kogi State Governor who is the founder of Hayat Foundation, a Pan-African Organisation dedicated to promoting the cause of children with cerebral palsy said government must muster the political will to address the plight of Nigerians living with disability, adding that signing the disability bill into law will accord the necessary dignity and respect they deserve.

She appealed to Nigerians to stop the stigma against persons living with disability, describing the International day in cerebral palsy as “a unique day in our lives, a day that people with special needs are celebrated, encouraged and assured that they are not alone in their struggle for a decent and lovely livelihood. It is a day that we remind them that despite the challenges they are facing, they can still achieve their dreams.

“Nigerian and indeed, African children living with special needs are sentenced to a life of obscurity and are at a disadvantage right from birth. Most families treat them as outcasts due to perceived societal stigmatization and worse of all, they end up in confinement, thereby damaging their self-esteem, their ability to acquire relevant social skills and confidence.

“At Hayat Foundation, we are committed more than ever before in making lives easier, interesting, and meaningful for children with special needs. We belief that catching them young will avail us the opportunity to groom them to live and enjoy their lives like any other normal child and prepare them for a future – a future that seeks to be promising and bright”, she said.

Mrs. Bello noted that Hayat Foundation was born as a result of her personal journey and experience with cerebral palsy, while taking care of her own son, Hayatullah Onoruoyiza Bello, who lives with cerebral palsy and in whose honor the foundation is named after.

“Because I experienced and felt loved while I was growing up as a child, I became convinced that I have the same responsibility to my son and therefore would not abandon him by hiding him in an obscure corner of the house where people will not see him. Hayat Foundation is therefore a special intervention to reach out to the less privileged in our society who may not be as lucky as our son”, she explained.

“Beyond the idea of a foundation, we have decided to take it a step further. On Friday October 13, 2017, Hayat Foundation will host a fundraising dinner at the TransCorp Hilton Hotel, to help draw attention to this cause and as part of our efforts to set up a Pan-African institute for children with special needs in the mold of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. We want children with special needs to be able to live like other children in an atmosphere and environment that inspires them to pursue their dreams just like the rest of us in the society”, she added.




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