The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Tuesday, passed a bill to protect physically-challenged persons in the state against all forms of discrimination.
The bill provides for the establishment of a special commission for the physically-challenged. It also makes it mandatory for the government to cater for their welfare.
Section 3(1) of the bill says, “All levels of government shall take appropriate steps to ensure that persons living with disabilities have good standard of living for themselves and their families including food, clothing and housing and to the continuous improvement of living conditions”.
The House passed the bill after adopting a report presented by Felicia Bassey-led House Committee on Women Affairs, Social Welfare and Special Matters.
Onofiok Luke, the Speaker of the State Assembly, sponsored the private member bill when he was a floor member of the House.
Mr. Luke commended the lawmakers for supporting the passage of the bill which he said was an indication of the House’s responsiveness to the plight of the physically-challenged persons in the society.
“It is our avowed commitment that we will always rise to the occasion to defend the defenseless. This is in line with our pledge to use the mandate our people gave us to walk on the path of justice. We will continue to do more in order to ensure that life is made meaningful to the physically challenged,” the speaker said.
The bill must be signed by the governor to be law.