22 January 2013

Ghana: .... but Blind Union Grateful to Prez

Dr. Peter Obeng-Asamoa, Executive Director for the Ghana Blind Union, on Monday applauded President John Dramani Mahama for appointing Dr. Henry Seidu Daannaa, Minister designate for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs.

Dr. Obeng-Asamoa said the appointment showed that the President believed in the competence and capability of persons with disability, which signified an all inclusive government that would add to the beauty of democracy.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Monday, Mr. Obeng-Asamoa said Dr. Daanaa, the first visually impaired lawyer in the country, with extensive experience in chieftaincy issues; if given the requisite support, would be able to perform well like any other Minister of state.

Dr Obeng-Asamoa said he was confident that Dr. Daannaa would perform well, because of his experience in chieftaincy and traditional affairs, adding that competence should not be linked to disability.

"The fact that somebody is disabled does not mean the person is not capable of functioning in society since everybody has a place in society to contribute to national development", Dr Obeng-Asamoa said.

He expressed worry that some institutions in the country denied persons with disability positions what is due them, which infringed on their rights, adding that "The President's appointment would send a signal to other organisations to give opportunities to competent persons with disability".

Dr. Obeng-Asamoa said the Union was happy with the Presidents' appointment because disability had not been used against Dr. Daannaa, and expressed the hope the Minister designate would make a mark in his field when given the nod as substantive Minister.

He asked Ghanaians to think positively about persons leaving with disability and give them the required platform to contribute to the national development.

Dr. Daannaa, who was born in 1955 in Tuaha in the Upper West Region, is recognized by the General Legal Council as the First Blind Barrister in Ghana.

He obtained a Doctorate and a Degree in Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science between 1986 and 1992, and a Masters' degree in Law from the same University in 1982, after completing undergraduate law program at the University of Ghana between 1979 and 1981.

Dr. Daannaa worked on the codification of chieftaincy lines of succession for 21 paramount stools in the country, and on October 3, 1997, the General Legal Council, conferred a special prize award on him in recognition of his achievement as the first blind man to be trained as a lawyer at the Ghana School of Law.

Dr. Daanaa currently serves as the National Director of Research at the Ministry of Culture and Chieftaincy.

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