TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Persons with Disabilities demand ministerial slot

By Olawale Oyegbade, The Nigerian Voice

The Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint one of them as minister to represent them in the Federal Executive Council.

Addressing a press conference, the Executive Director of the Center for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), David AVID Anyaele frowned at the exclusion of PWDs in the list submitted to the Senate for screening by the President.

He noted that the objective of this press conference was to raise awareness over the exclusion of Nigeria with disabilities in the list of Ministerial nominees and the delay in the implementation of the National Disability Act by the government.

He said the PWDs were dissatisfied with the list of the ministerial nominee that President Buhari sent to the Senate without a single person with disability in the list, describing it as a total disregard to the provision in part 6, section 29 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act.

"We call on President Mohammadu Buhari to speedily send at least three additional competent names of persons with disabilities as ministerial nominees to enable them join other nominees for screening at the Senate.

"We are worried that the leadership of the 9th session of the National Assembly (President and Deputy Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives) have made appointment to their offices. Only the Speaker House of Representatives appointed a person with disability as an aid.

"We call on the leadership of the 9th session of the National Assembly (President and Deputy Senate President as well as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives) to appoint persons with disabilities as aids in other to fill the 5% employment reservation for persons with disabilities in the National Assembly.

We demand that President Mohammadu Buhari implement part 7, section 31 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 without further delay through establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD).

He commended the President for signing National Disability Act which according to him ended the 18 years struggle to secure a legislation that would protect more than 25 million Nigerians with disabilities against discrimination and other harmful practices.

His words "While we use this platform to thank all those that sponsored the bill since year 2000 at the National Assembly, these distinguished Nigerians include: Sen. Chris Adighije, Hon. Jerry Ugokwe, Sen. Bode Olajumoke, Hon. Abike Dabiri, Sen. Nurudeen Abatimi-Usman, Sen. Francis Alimikhena and Hon. Ochiglegor Idogbo as well as their colleagues at 5, 6, 7 and 8 sessions of the National Assembly.

"The success of the passage and assent of the President on the National Disability Act were achieve with uncommon push from the Nigeria Media, with special support from our partners (OSIWA, RoLAC, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, Australian High Commission Abuja) amongst others.

"The purpose of the Act is for the full integration of persons with disabilities into the society by establishing National Commission for Persons with Disabilities vested with the responsibilities to ensure education, health care, social, economic and civil rights of PWDs in Nigeria.