The first blind Associate Professor in northern Nigeria, Jibrin Disu, has on Saturday called on Nigerians to stop stigmatizing against physically challenged persons.
Speaking at Inspiring Leadership Reflection Interactive Session, ILERIS, organised by Centre for Information Technology And Development, CITAD, in Kano state, Mr Disu said disabled persons like him can do whatever normal persons can do if given the needed support.
According to him, as a blind, he had become the first blind Associate Professor in northern Nigeria, adding that it was the feat that most of the normal persons in the region did not achieve.
He noted that stigmatization towards persons with disabilities was less prevalent in southern Nigeria than in the north, calling on the individuals and groups to support the well-being of the disabled people.
Mr Disu, who was the former Special Adviser on disabled persons to former governor Ibrahim Shekarau, however called on the physically challenged to imbibe the culture of cleanliness in order to be more respected in the society.
“Sometimes, it is the attitude of uncleanness to many of the physically challenged persons that cause this stigmatization. If you always look neat and tidy, nobody wouldl look at you in disdain.
“If you look at me, I am not proud, but nobody could treat me disdainfully because, al though I am blind, but as you can see, I care about my cleanliness.
“Therefore, I urge the physically challenged people to imbibe the culture of impeccable dressing,” he said
Mr Disu, a lecture at Bayero University Kano, also called for inclusive education, whereby the government would provide avenue for disabled persons to be studying in the conventional schools.
While at the conventional schools, Mr Disu also called on the government to provide needed learning materials for the disabled students.
“I believe that learning equipment for the physically challenged people are very expensive. But the government should make provisions for that. Let our people be included in the conventional schools to be studying along side the normal persons,” he added.