Ahead of the 2023 general elections, persons with disabilities have appealed to the presidential candidates of various political parties to ensure the inclusion of its members in governance and strengthen policies that will enhance a friendly environment for them to live.
This they said will consolidate on the giant achievements of current administration in easing off their burdens especially with regards to signing into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Secretary James who spoke recently in Abuja said the issue of non-inclusion of its members in governance in some states of the federation calls for worry, even as he expresses regret that the discrimination against PWDs in the society calls for concern.
He urged the presidential candidates to initiate steps that will protect persons with disabilities from harmful cultural practices and crude behavioral patterns, expressing displeasure over the killings of people with albinism and those with hunchback for ritual purposes.
He described as untrue the allegation by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that the federal government has neglected persons with disabilities, saying the government has fulfilled all its promises to the community.
Lalu while stating that some states are yet to implement the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, he said it does not undermine the firm commitment of the federal government to change the fortunes of the physically challenged.
He said the statement of the PDP presidential candidate is a clear attack on the continued efforts of Buhari’s administration in assuaging the plights of PWDs and affirmed supports for the APC-led government.
“During the first and second terms of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, the disability community struggled, even when the bill was passed by the National Assembly, Atiku and PDP did not sign it into law.
“I can still remember when the disability community went out to protest and called the attention of the then government, the only result we got was that we were tear-gased.
“We also want to remind Governor of Delta, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, that the disability law had not been passed or signed in Delta” he said.