Int’l Wheelchair Day : NAPWPD urges mobility access inclusion in Abia



Umuahia, March 1, 2024 The National Association of Persons With Physical Disability (NAPWPD), Abia chapter, has called on the government and society to make sure that all public places and mobility environments are made accessible for wheelchair users.

The Abia Chairman of NAPWPD, Mr. Iroabuchi Alozie, made the call while interacting with journalists on Friday in Umuahia, in celebration of this year’s International Wheelchair Day.

Abia Chairman of NAPWPD, Mr. Iroabuchi Alozie being flanked (left) by Mr. Emmanuel Ohaeri (Welfare Coordinator) and Mrs. Christiana Onyemuwa (Woman Leader).


Alozie said that doing so would help to empower the lives of the wheelchair users and give them that sense of belonging, not only in Abia, but also all over the globe.

He decried lack of accessibility to public buildings as one the challenges facing the group in the state, adding “most banks are not accessible to most of our members on wheelchairs.”

According to him, there should be budgetary provisions for carrying out necessary modifications of existing buildings to be accessible for wheelchair users.

Alozie also frowned at public apathy towards members, saying that wheelchair users were often treated as second class citizens.

“Disability is not the end of one’s life and being on wheelchair does not mean lack of vision or bearing.

“It is time for the public to start changing their mindsets concerning persons on wheelchair and accommodate them as their fellow human beings.

… Alozie briefing the media.

“Anybody can be disabled any day. That you are able today doesn’t make you to be whole forever,” he said.

Alozie lauded Gov. Alex Otti for the giant stride he recorded so far in the state, especially in inclusion of Person with Disability in his administration as Special Assistance.

He appealed to the governor to make the Commission for Persons with Disability in the state functional with office accommodation and personnel management.

He said that such measure would help to safeguard the rights of wheelchair users.

It is recalled that former Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu on May 9, 2023, established the Abia State Disability Commission, after signing the Disability Bill into law in Oct. 2022.

The governing board of the commission was inaugurated with Eldad Monu, a deaf person, as the Chairman.

The chairman also appealed to the state and non state actors as well as well-spirited individuals to synergise with the relevant agencies to develop minimum accessibility standard code for the full implementation of the disability law.

Alozie explained that the International Wheelchair Day was founded in 2008, to raise awareness about the significance of wheelchairs and their positive impact on the lives of individuals with mobility challenges.

“The day acknowledges the pressing global need for wheelchairs, with millions of individuals worldwide requiring them but facing barriers to its acquisition,” he said.

Alozie was flanked by the Welfare Coordinator, Mr.Emmanuel Ohaeri and the Woman Leader, Mrs. Christiana Onyemuwa with other members in attendance.