By Hamza Ibrahim Chinade.
As the last episode for this year, the monthly Inspiring Leadership Reflection Interactive Series (ILERIS) of the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has featured a visually impaired Associate Prof. Jibrin Isah Diso as the guest speaker for the youths inspiring and development programme. Giving opening remarks on behalf of the Executive Director, Training Coordinator Malam Ahmad Abdullahi Yakasai observed that, inviting Ass. Prof. Diso is meant to serve two purposes, one, to inspire and challenge the participating youths to work hard in their different endeavors, and secondly to also inspire and be a role model with his rich profile to both people living with special needs and the participating normal people.
The guest speaker, Ass. Prof. Jibrin Isah Diso kick started the interaction with an elaborate background of his educational struggle and later to his career as an academician, born in 1957, he started his primary education in 1963 at a primary school in Galadanci quarters in Kano metropolis, before proceeding to secondary school, Bayero University for his undergraduate studies and United Kingdom for post graduate studies. Ass. Prof. Diso passionately narrated his successes, failures, challenges and he was able to withstand pressure and handle challenges that would have ordinarily stopped him from becoming an Associate Professor as a visually impaired person. Commenting on the experiences of people living with disability, he said “the continued stigma and societal neglect towards people living with disability is psychologically affecting them, PWDs are people that need to be cherished and supported by everyone because they also have a positive role to play in societal development”. When asked by a participant on what makes him happy, he said he feels accomplished for securing 370 job slots for people living with disability when he served as special adviser to Kano state governor on people living with disability and for convincing the then Malam Ibrahim Shakarau administration to make education free for people with special needs in the state. He responded to numerous questions and comments regarding his endeavors. The event entertained several questions and comments from the participants, it finally ended with a vote of thanks and publications presentation to the speaker by Projects Coordinator Malam Isyaku Garba. Participants at this month’s interactive lecture included staff, volunteers and interns of CITAD, members of civil society groups, students bodies, youths groups, joints association of people living with disability, lecturers from BUK, journalists, SCEEP community members from Nasarawa, Kano Municipal and Gaya local governments etc.