Bill To Stop Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Scales Through Second Reading in Imo Assembly

A bill aimed at repealing the Imo State Agency for Persons Living with Disabilities Law no. 8 of 2017 and enacting a new law to address discrimination against persons with disabilities has been referred to the House Committee on Humanitarian Services for further consideration, awaiting passage into law.

Presenting the bill for its second reading during Thursday’s plenary session, the sponsor, Ikpamezie Innocent representing Mbaitoli state constituency, stressed the urgency of ending discrimination against persons with disabilities, asserting that there is inherent ability in disability.

The lawmaker outlined various forms of discrimination faced by persons with disabilities, including limited access to healthcare, societal stigma, inadequate housing, and barriers to quality education.

The comprehensive 56-section bill, if approved, would ensure equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in accessing quality education, participating in social activities, engaging in government employment, and participating in traditional rituals, aligning their rights with those of their peers across the state.

“The bill will impose sanctions on defaulters which includes fines and prison sentences both on the side of the disabled and non-disabled persons,” he added.

The Speaker, Chike Olemgbe, directed the member for Ehime-Mbano state Constituency, Bernard Ozoemenam who is the House Committee Chairman on Humanitarian Services, to conduct a public hearing on the bill preparatory to its eventual passage into law.