AN ADDRESS BY MR.DAVID ENOGHO T,PRESIDENT OF THE PHYSICALLY- CHALLENGED NETWORK FOR DEVELOPMENT ON TUESDAY, 6TH DECEMBER, 2011 AT THE CONFERENCE HALL, MINISTRY OF JUSTICE , STATE SECRETARIAT COMPLEX, PORT HARCOURT.
On behalf of my humble self and the able team members who have made this epoch making occasion possible, I welcome you all.
I count it a great privilege to share with you, our partners, the purpose and focus of the physically –challenged network for development on persons with disability on a platform such as this.
The birth of this positively-assertive body is meant to complement the good role other organs within the family play.
Let me equally state here that this body is meant to appreciate and further complement government and our other partners who over the years had been quite supportive; and, to pray to them to take us to another level.
Historically speaking, there has never been a gathering of this dimension, but as the present administration of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi embarks on various developmental projects, it became absolutely necessary to bring together under one roof all physically-challenged persons and persons that have our interest together for greater participation in all spheres of building Rivers State in particular and Nigeria as a whole.
Permit me at this point to mention the architects of this lofty dream. They are Wilson chukwudi Godday C, Iginighiom Jeremiah, Prince David Gbarator, Mr. Dibia Mbaollor and our physically abled M.D Edmond , the founder , md-infochange.com, an internet-based but youth focused group, that is poised to making human-persons the treasure base of value and development. Sir, indeed you are our friend, a champion and a partner in the business of the development of the human persons. Indeed your contributions are timely and of course, my humble self Enogho. May God bless them for this phenomenal foresight. Like the saying goes, ‘’you will never make an omlette without breaking eggs’’. It was a tumultuously challenging six years of nerve –wrecking experience by us to finally come up with this idea, nurture is one thing, convincing other physically-challenged organisations in the various local government areas was another, as human nature would not want domination. We worked tirelessly, pointing to them the need to come together for a more meaningful mission. It was indeed a herculean task; nonetheless, we saw it as a divine call and an indispensible necessity to forge ahead, no matter the obstacles and challenges. Our driving force was that, if we can come together as physically-challenged persons to front a progressive idea, [with that, we believe there would be every possibility of we attaining that ambitious height of success even as it concern the highest leadership position in governance regardless of our physical challenges we may be facing as humans.
For the benefit of those who are not familiar with this organisation, permit me also to take a couple of minutes to say a few words about the Physically-Challenged Network for Development[PCND]. It was formed by [a group of like minds who are irrevocably committed to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.We evolve strategies, schemes and programmes that will lead to the overall development of our disabled counterparts. We focus on identifying issues and challenges which militate against our development in particular and humanity in general but more in addressing such issues by raising and promoting public awareness and initiating problem solving activities through community participatory actions. We partner with philanthropic individuals, agencies, and NGOs alike to evolving proactive ways to improving the living conditions of the physically-challenged persons.
Again, let it be properly noted that, the formation of this body may not be unconnected with the high level of embarrassment, unemployment, non-inclusion in appointments into positions of trust, humiliation and inhuman and dehumanizing treatments we receive from our society who ordinarily should partner with us to contribute our quota to the building of this great nation. We face countless discrimination in our home fronts, churches and other religious bodies; the social institutions such as schools, banks are not accessible. Take for instance, the federal Secretariat Complex does not have lifts and a whole lot of us are being denied the opportunity to access the services of National Directorate of Employment, a body saddled with the responsibility to train people to acquire various skills. On this note I want to appeal to the Rivers State House of Assembly to put up a legislation that will make all banks, schools and public buildings to be physically-challenged friendly. Moreover, in terms of employment, we need a legislation that will compel both the public and the private sector to set out a given percentage of their employment quota to be competed by qualified physically-challenged persons.
Pertaining to our plights, it may interest you to know that many parents and guardians tend to deny their children with disability early education and vocational training. What a stigma and injustice? It therefore behoves on us to bridge the gap by organising programmes such as this to enlighten our people and give them the proper orientation on the opportunities and possibilities available to the physically-challenged persons.
May I also use this opportunity to appeal to the various levels of Government to implement policies that will include us in the participation of socio-political and economic facets of the society. Disability issues have gone beyond the category of humanitarian concern, they are now recognised in the dimension of human right and development.
Nigeria economy is shifting, as it has now become, it is not general equalization of opportunity that will liberate persons with disability but special opportunity.
The theme for the observance of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is ‘’Together for a better world for all ; including persons with disabilities in development’’. Awards will be presented to individuals, Agencies and Corporate firms that have shown interest in fostering our welfare. This event will also be commemorated with the delivering of a public lecture titled: ‘’Disability issues: challenges and prospects’’.
Finally, a special cash award will be presented to the physically-challenged but innovative man of the year 2011.
As a reminder, it must be noted that social and legislative factors have greatly influenced our living condition. Ignorance, superstition, fear, neglect, discrimination and human rights are factors through-out the history of disability that have isolated us and as well delayed our development.
On a final note, I would want to thank every person that has come to keep a date with history by attending this enlightenment programme. May you indicate your partnership with us by completing the attached form.
Thank you and God bless you all.
DAVID THANKGOD ENOGHO
President, PCND. 0703-729-8577
FOR THE RECORD
Some of our partners include:
NATIONAL ORIENTATION AGENCY, NOA, RIVERS STATE
THE AMERICAN CORNER, CENTRE FOR ADVANCED SOCIAL SCIENCES [CASS], PH
RHTYHM FM, PH
NATIONAL AGENDA WEEKLY STAR
THE CHAMPION NEWSPAPER
THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE
RIVERS STATE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
RIVERS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
TREASURE FM, PH
FAMILY LOVE, PH
NIGERIA TELEVISION AUTHORITY, NTA
MD-INFOCHANGE.COM…..an internet based youth focus group.
RIVERS STATE COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL RULERS
RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND REHABILITATION..ETC
1. INTRODUCTION OF MC [MR. MAXSON DIKIBUGERERE EDMOND]
2. INTRODUCTION OF MEMBERS OF THE HIGH TABLE
3. OPENING PRAYER
4. CHAIRMAN’S REMARKS
5. WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT,PCND, MR D.T.ENOGHO
6. 1ST. LECTURE: DISABILITY AND THE LAW BY BARISTER SUNDAY PETER IKEAGWU
7. MUSIC INTERLUDE
8. 2ND LECTURE: DISABILITY ISSUES: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS BY CHF. ANDY NWEYE, RIVERS STATE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ORIENTATION AGENCY
9. RESPONSES AND QUESTIONS
10. INTERACTIVE SESSION
i. LIFE EXPERIENCES OF PHYSICALLY-CHALLENGED PERSONS
II. GOODWILL MESSAGE
12. PRESENTATION OF AWARDS
13. CLOSING REMARKS
15. CLOSING PRAYER/ DEPARTURE.