As the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities ( NCPWD) continues to pursue an approval for the recruitment of staff for the Commission to enhance it’s capacity and capabilities to discharge their mandate and mission, the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is calling on the Executive Secretary of the Commission to collaborate with the Federal Civil Service Commission to ensure that every recruitment exercise is open, transparent and no qualified person with disability is schemed out of the opportunity on the grounds of disability.
Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director of CCD in a press release said this is imperative because applicants with disabilities are painfully discriminated by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDA) to the extent that citizens with disabilities have been picketing MDAs with a demand to offer them employment, as such an agency that focuses on disability matters must ensure that qualified persons with disabilities have a greater majority in the staffing of the Commission.
This is in addition to the loop sided composition of the staff of the commission in which out of about 61 staff of the Commission, 48 are persons without disabilities, 13 are persons with disabilities while others are majorly volunteers. This disability unfriendly composition of the staff of the Commission is unacceptable for an agency that is vested with the responsibilities for the education, health care, and the protection and promotion of the social, economic, civil rights of citizens with disabilities in Nigeria.
We are mindful of the endemic politics of recruitment in the public service in Nigeria, whereby politicians (Ministers, National Assembly members, Governors down to councillors) use their proximity to the ruling party to force the selection of their thugs and party loyalist to juicy positions. The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities should be free from recruitment of none professionals as the commission is a specialist government agency that requires competent staff to deliver on its mandate. These professionals are many within the disability community as such there is the need to look inward within the disability community first before recruitment of persons without disabilities into the Commission.
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is calling on the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities in collaboration with Federal Civil Service Commission to apply appropriate policy, in particular, the Federal Character principle to ensure that no section of the country dominates the Commission. The existing one-sided disability-related appointments by the President should not be sustained in the recruitment of staff of the Commission. A situation whereby out of the four (SSA and SA on Disability Matters to the President, Chairman, and Executive Secretary of NCPWD) prominent appointments made by President Mohammadu Buhari so far, all of them are from the Northern part of the country.
The struggle that led to the passage of the National Disability Law and the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) was a collective action by all PWDs. Disability activists from all corners of Nigeria worked tirelessly to ensure an end to discrimination and other harmful practices. Therefore, where there is an opportunity, the Federal Government of Nigeria must ensure that no part of the country is left behind in the recruitment and appointment from the disability community.
CCD will continue to monitor trends in the polity to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities are protected against discrimination and other harmful practices.