A group under the aegis of the Nigeria National Association of the Deaf, has appealed to the Federal Government to adopt sign language as the second official language after the English language in the country.

The National President of the association, Chidi Oluchi, made the appeal during a press conference in Lafia on Thursday.

Oluchi, who spoke through an interpreter, Dagbo Usman-Doma, said the call became imperative as a result of the difficulties and challenges that persons living with disabilities were going through to communicate with other citizens of the country.

He said, “Recognising sign language as the second lingua-franca will immensely benefit persons with disabilities and other citizens by ensuring smooth communication devoid of any barrier.

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“We are appealing to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), members of the National Assembly, ministers and other political leaders in the country to assist us and ensure that sign language is recognised as the second official language after the English language.

“Doing so will give us a sense of belonging and will ensure proper inclusion of the over nine million of our members across the country, and it will also improve the image of Nigeria before the international community.”

Oluchi added that as part of efforts to achieve their objectives, the group recently formed a coalition with the Association of Sign Language Interpreters in Nigeria to create awareness on the importance of sign language.

While expressing gratitude to the media for always supporting them in their programmes, NNAD National President said they were in Nasarawa State for the Annual General Meeting and celebration of the association’s 50th year of existence.

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