Disability not inability- former Speaker
By Moses Gum Degur
The former speaker of Lakes State assembly and current member of National Dialogue Steering Committee said disability is not inability since the affected persons were still active and alive.
John Mariik Makur said disability is not inability to discourage persons with disabilities to participate in the national matters.
“Disability is not powerlessness. Even if you are disabled and still alive, you are still useful to the society and can contribute to nation building,” he said. “Don’t get discouraged that you are neglected in the national matters. You are not neglected. You are important to the nation and people can benefit from you,” he added.
Makur made the remarks while responding to claims made by people with disabilities that they are being neglected by the government because they are not well represented in the National Dialogue process and in other government institutions.
Makur acknowledged the challenges and suffering of the people with disabilities, saying it increased due to the ongoing conflict in the country.
He said people of all forms whether with physical infirmities or not have equal rights to participate in country affairs and express their views willingly for their voices to be heard for the inclusion into the national dialogue committee.
“Our rights will be enshrined in the upcoming constitution of the country to ensure that there is equal participation and representations of persons across the country,” he said. “All the categories of disabilities will be called for their issue to be included in the national agenda by the committee,” he added.
Makur encouraged people with disabilities not to lose hope since disability is not inability which he said should not make them shy in expressing views that can help restore the nation.
He said he has been serving in various portfolios of the government including position of speaker and now a member of National Dialogue committee despite being disable.
Alfred Taban the head of Information and Communication Unit in the National Dialogue Steering Committee urged people with disabilities to speak out truth for the interest of the people of the country.
“For us to achieve peace in this country, there is need for all of us to speak out the truth without hiding anything and that is the meaning of reconciliation”, he said. “We need people to be frank. Don’t hide anything. You express yourself fully for your voices to be heard. You have now expressed your position to be included in the National Dialogue, but now don’t worry any longer”, he supplemented.
Taban said persons with disabilities are already represented in the National Dialogue since there are service men with the same infirmities serving in the steering committee.
He called on the people of South Sudan to start building peace within themselves, families and their neighbors for edifice easygoing and prosperous country for future generation.
Taban commended people with disabilities to take the National Dialogue serious by talking to the grassroots people to bring lasting peace to the country.