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Thursday, April 18, 2024

PWDs: You Didn’t Conduct Your Research Well… —Anambra Govt Replies Former Nigerian Envoy


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Anambra State Government has disagreed with former Nigerian Ambassador to South Africa, Mrs. Uche Ajuluchukwu, on her claims that Governor Soludo’s administration has never budgeted or disbursed a dime for Persons with Disabilities in the State since its inception in 2022.

The Press Secretary to Governor Soludo, Mr. Christian Aburime dismissed the claim by the ex-envoy in a statement issued to newsmen on Friday, in he also noted that the former Ambassador did not take the time to thoroughly research the government’s initiatives ‘before making such baseless accusations’.

According to him, the allegations against Governor Soludo’s administration are not only misguided, but also devoid of truth. She added that if there was no concealed motive involved, “perhaps one would say that she spoke out of sheer ignorance.”

Aburime’s statement read in full “The attention of the Anambra State Government has been drawn to a misleading statement by a former Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Mrs. Uche Ajuluchukwu, alleging that ‘the current administration in the State had never budgeted a dime for, nor released one Kobo” to Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the State “since it came on board in 2022.’

“Mrs. Ajuluchukwu made the erroneous statement recently in Awka, the State capital, while speaking at an event organized to mark the one year anniversary of the Anambra State Disabilities Rights Commission (ANSDRC).

“It is rather unfortunate that Mrs. Ajuluchukwu has chosen to misrepresent the facts regarding Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo’s commitment to inclusivity and empowerment for all its citizens, including Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).

“Her allegations against Governor Soludo’s administration are not only misguided but also devoid of truth. If there was no concealed motive involved, perhaps one would say that she spoke out of sheer ignorance.

“Contrary to her claims, Governor Soludo’s administration has taken remarkable actions in ensuring the welfare and empowerment of the vulnerable segments of society in the State, including the PWDs.

“It is clear that Mrs. Ajuluckwwu has not taken the time to thoroughly research the government’s initiatives before making such baseless accusations.”

Continuing, Aburime said: “To set the record straight, the Anambra State Government, through the office of the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, has empowered about twelve vulnerable NGOs and associations in the state.

“The empowerment was undertaken by the state government to alleviate the sufferings of the disabled, the visually impaired, the deaf and dumb, and children with special needs in the state. The interventions are aimed at enhancing the quality of life and opportunities for PWDs.

“Some of the NGOs so far empowered include the Anambra State Albinism Association, National Association of the Deaf, Blind Students Association of Nigeria (Youth Wing) and Association of Women with Disabilities, among others.

“The government has given approval for the PWDs being trained in different skills at the Oba and Aguleri vocational centers of the state to be empowered.

“Furthermore, the state government has set up a committee to plan and coordinate the implementation of the 1.5 Billion Naira Ward-based economic empowerment for vulnerable persons, which include PWDs

“The data collection for intending beneficiaries of the programme has since commenced. This initiative showcases Governor Soludo’s dedication to fostering economic independence and social inclusion for all, regardless of their physical abilities.

“All said, it is essential to recognize that governing a complex state like Anambra involves multifaceted planning, resource allocation, and implementation.

“Constructive criticism is always welcomed, but it should be based on verified information rather than misleading narratives.

“Mrs. Ajuluchukwu’s assertions not only misconstrue the efforts of the administration but also detract from the true progress being made in Anambra State by Governor Soludo in carrying everyone along irrespective of social stratification.”

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