Group Tell Buhari to Sign Disability Bill

A civil society group, the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Disability Bill into law.

Pic: L/R: Barr. Kolawole Ogunbiyi, CCD Senior Program Officer; David Anyaele, Executive Director Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD); and Irene Patrick Ugbogu, Executive Director Disability Right Advocacy Centre (DRAC)

Executive Director of the group, David Anyaele, made the plea while addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, May 11, 2018.

Anyaele who said that about twenty-five million persons live with disability in Nigeria added that the number increases with attacks on communities by terrorists, bandits and suspected herdsmen.

He noted that the bill had suffered setback from previous government’s due to their “sheer ignorance” of the provisions of the piece of legislation.

“There have been several moves made in the past under successive administrations in Nigeria in Nigeria to pass the Disability Bill. Such bills have scaled through the process at the National Assembly but have been unsuccessful especially at the point of obtaining the Presidential assent,” he said.

“Nigeria is the giant of Africa with about 25 million persons with disabilities and the number keeps increasing as a result of the insurgency across Nigeria and northeast in particular, and poverty. This is a figure quiet above the population of some African countries,” he added.

Anyaele who commended President Buhari for appointing a person living with disability, Samuel Ankeli, into his cabinet maintained that assenting bill would lead to the fulfilment of his campaign promise to protect them by ensuring inclusion.

The leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly had expressed their support for the bill by ensuring its passage.

The Disability bill seeks to provides for rights of persons with disabilities to have access to public premises, accessibility aids at public building, access to road and side walk, protection against risk and humanitarian emergencies, as well as prohibition of using them to beg for alms.

It further provides for the right to participation in politics, and a National Commission to address complaints of harassment, discrimination and harmful practices against persons with disabilities, among others.

African countries like Ghana, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania have passed the Disability bill.

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