538 views | Kenechukwu Ofomah | June 16, 2021
Awka – Anambra State Government has warned that it will explore every instrument of law to punish anyone who discriminates or violates the rights of persons living with any disability or health condition in the State.
Governor Willie Obiano gave the warning on Tuesday at a stakeholder’s lunch on Albinism Awareness held in Awka, as part of activities marking the 2021 World Albinism Day in Anambra State.
The governor who spoke through the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C-Don Adinuba said his government is committed to providing support and level playing ground to persons living with unfavorable conditions in the state to be able to pursue their dreams.
According to the governor, those who discriminate were working against the interest of the state.
“Anambra State remains an eloquent example of what may be called solidarity with the human family. We see all human beings regardless of their status or condition as members of one Anambra family. Therefore, if there are people who require special attention to be able to perform certain responsibilities, it is obligatory on us to enable them achieve that. People living with Albinism require help to do some things. In Matt 25:40, Jesus himself says whatever least you do to my children, you do to me. If you don’t render assistance to anyone who deserves that, you are committing not just a sin, but what theologians call a mortal sin. That’s a sin you commit and don’t atone for it, if you die, you’ll go to hell,” the governor said.
The governor made it clear that violation of human rights in any form will not be condoned by his administration.
“If anything, we are the light of the nation. Therefore Anambra should lead the country with very positive examples. Studies have shown that only societies who practice all-inclusive systems make meaningful progress. If you exclude a particular segment of the society, you are denying yourself a substantial stock of talents therefore, you cannot compete effectively in the contemporary world that is defined by globalization, powered by extreme competition,” he said.
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant on Public Enlightenment, Chidinma Oramali disclosed that about 90,000 persons in the State were living with Albinism, accounting for 3 percent of the 3million Nigerians living with the condition.
Describing albinism as a rare and genetically inherited condition present at birth, Oramali explained that for albinism to be passed on, both parents must carry the gene, even if they do not have the condition themselves.
She said, “It’s regrettable that persons living with albinism in Nigeria still suffer low self-esteem due to denied opportunities, rejection, abuses, violence and even death. We need change in societal disposition towards the people.”
Oramali continued; “That is why we have summoned key stakeholders in the state- Government officials, religious and community heads, Civil Society Organisations, the media, to discuss Albinism and understand that Albinos are normal human beings like everyone that require love and care and that Albinism is not a disease. They in turn, will cascade this message down to their respective communities and together, we can entrench a system that respects human rights.”
On his part, Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, represented by Dr Jude Nguzoro advocated government support towards providing visual enhancement aids and special care for persons living with the condition.