Dr. Samuel Ankeli is the Senior Special Assistant on Disability Matters to President Muhammadu Buhari. He was the Directorate of Persons with Disability of the Buhari/Osinbajo APC Presidential Campaign in 2015. In a recent interview, Ankeli revealed how he became visually-impaired while he was a lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. In his words, Ankeli said, “I was lecturing in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, when I was diagnosed as being blind, and that I would not be able to see again. I travelled to the United Kingdom for medical attention but I was told that a surgery would disfigure my face. However recent research findings indicate that there is hope for me to recover my sight.
“I am not discouraged by my predicament and I have accepted my fate. I am still useful to society and I am not encumbered by my condition since I can still carry out my official functions. I am a veterinary doctor by training and when I had this challenge I had to develop myself and I can tell you without mincing words that I am an authority in disability. I studied, worked hard and everywhere I go now people identify with me.” On his role as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters, Ankeli said, “My mandate is to assist the President on all issues of disability in Nigeria and beyond and secondly to take care of the welfare and wellbeing of people with disabilities, to mobilize them for national development and finally to protect and promote their rights and privileges in governance and the society. The summary of these is to see good governance translate into the larger society.”