Sunday, February 4, 2018


My eyes have seen some wonderful things that portend a brighter future full of opportunities for people who live with learning difficulties and disabilities in our nation. 

His Excellency, Gov. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, who himself, has lived with a  disability, knows what it is to battle inequalities and lack of provisions for equal opportunities in our society.

His passion to provide the much needed opportunities for children and young adults who are less able in our nation, has been transformed into a tangible reality.

A state of the art School for pupils and students with learning difficulties and disabilities, has been built in Lafia, the capital city of Nassarawa State. It is one of the three, planned for the three Senatorial districts of the state. Governor Al-Makura has spared no expense in equipping this school with large classrooms, fitted with modern IT equipment. 

The facility has massive equipped playgrounds, medical centre, Audioscope, White boards/projectors, halls of residence, so many wheelchairs/other mobility aids, Skills acquisition centre, rails on pathways and  massive halls that could be rented our for social events to raise funds for the school.

The students of the school who come from all over Nigeria to reside at this boarding facilty and who are being educated for free, are in high spirits as they eagerly await the arrival of His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to commission their school.

This school has brought to the fore, the urgent need for the National Assembly to pass the disability bill that has been in its court for many years. The world is moving. Thankfully, we have passed the era of denial, ridicule and hiding away those who are less able in our society.  But time has come for us to have a law in our nation that not only protects the rights of those with learning difficulties and disabilities, but also provide an equal playing field, otherwise known as Equal Opportunities, for them.

We must lend our voices to prevail on the National Assembly to set free, Nigerians who live with Learning difficulties and disabilities by passing the disability law. That would break the grounds for them and place then in a position where they can compete on the same grounds as the rest of us and not from a position of weakness and disadvantage.

God bless Nigeria.
Lauretta Onochie

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