Adamawa assembly makes history, elects physically challenged lawmaker as speaker

The first physically challenged person to be elected speaker in Adamawa Bathiya Wesley
The first physically challenged person to be elected speaker in Adamawa Bathiya Wesley

Adamawa assembly makes history, elects physically challenged lawmaker as speaker

In a groundbreaking move, Bathiya Wesley, a physically challenged lawmaker representing Hong constituency, has been elected as the Speaker of the 8th Adamawa State House of Assembly fact-check news can confirm.

Wesley’s election was unopposed, showcasing the confidence and support he enjoys among his colleagues. In a similar vein, Buba Mohammed Jijiwa of Jada Mbulo has emerged as the Deputy Speaker, also unopposed.

What makes Wesley’s election particularly significant is the fact that he is the first physically challenged person to be elected as the leader of a legislature, a pivotal institution in the government’s framework.

While Wesley was not born with disability, a tragic accident in his past resulted in the amputation of one of his arms. Despite this challenge, Wesley has shown remarkable resilience and determination in pursuing his political career.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, during its 61st session of the General Assembly, highlighted the criteria that define disability.

According to Resolution A/RES/61/106, persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments that, when combined with various barriers, hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal footing with others.

Wesley’s election as the Speaker of a prominent governmental body at the sub-national level is therefore a major milestone for individuals advocating for inclusion and protection. It represents a significant step towards enabling them to enjoy full equality under the law.

Hon. Bathiya Wesley, a second-term lawmaker elected under the Peoples Democratic Party, takes over as the Speaker of the 8th Assembly from Hon. Aminu Iya-Abass.

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The latter was elevated to the position of Senator, representing Adamawa Central Zone in the National Assembly. Wesley, who was elected in 2019, achieved a remarkable feat by becoming one of the youngest lawmakers ever elected into the state legislature, even in his late 30s.

His exceptional representation and unmatched delivery of constituency projects for his Hong Constituency earned him a widespread reputation and greatly contributed to the success of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general elections.

The election of Wesley as Speaker reflects a positive shift towards greater inclusivity in the political landscape. It is a testament to the Adamawa State House of Assembly’s commitment to embracing diversity and providing equal opportunities for all members of society, regardless of their physical abilities.

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By choosing Wesley to lead the legislative body, the assembly members have demonstrated their recognition of his capabilities and their willingness to support and empower individuals with disabilities.

Wesley’s journey from a tragic accident to assuming a position of leadership and influence is truly inspiring. His personal story serves as a reminder that individuals with disabilities possess unique talents, perspectives, and strengths that can contribute significantly to the development and progress of society.

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Wesley’s election as Speaker will undoubtedly inspire other individuals facing similar challenges to pursue their aspirations, knowing that their voices can be heard and their abilities recognized and valued.

In addition to the symbolic importance of Wesley’s election, there are practical implications as well. His appointment opens up avenues for policy-making and legislation that can address the needs and concerns of individuals with disabilities.

Wesley’s firsthand experience and deep understanding of the challenges faced by this community will enable him to advocate effectively for their rights and welfare. It is hoped that his tenure as Speaker will lead to the implementation of laws and initiatives that promote inclusivity, accessibility, and equal opportunities for all citizens.

The election of a physically challenged lawmaker as Speaker also sends a powerful message to society at large. It challenges existing stereotypes and prejudices, encouraging individuals to recognize the capabilities and potential of individuals with disabilities.

By electing Wesley, the Adamawa Assembly has set an example for other institutions and communities to follow, demonstrating that diversity and inclusion are the precursors of peace and harmony in any given society.


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