CCD urges FG, governors to recognize people living with disabilities

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The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has called on the Federal Government (FG) and 17 state governments to recognize people with disabilities.

This was stated by CCD Director David Anyaele in a statement to commemorate this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Saturday.

The annual event, declared in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/3, is held on December 3 to promote understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of people with disabilities.

It also aims to raise awareness of the benefits of integrating people with disabilities into all aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life.

“Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Fueling an Accessible and Equitable World” is the theme for 2022.

According to the CCD, this year’s event is an opportunity to reflect and ask critical questions about how responsive the Federal Government and its subnationals are to the full integration of people with disabilities into society, as well as ensuring their education, health care, and the protection of their social, economic, and civil rights.

“We are impressed with state governments that have adopted the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 or passed disability laws in their respective states,” it stated.

The only states with laws protecting their citizens with disabilities, according to the centre, were Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, and Plateau states (North Central); Bauchi State (North-East); Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, and Zamfara states (North-West); Abia and Anambra states (South-East); Cross River and Edo states (South-South); and Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo, and (South-West).

“We are calling on Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Ogun, Osun, Katsina, Kebbi, Gombe, Rivers, Taraba, and Yobe state governments to take appropriate measures to protect their citizens with disabilities without further delay through the adoption of the Disability Act,” the CCD added

According to it, federal and state governments’ Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) are doing little or nothing to ensure the full implementation of the disability law.

“We are concerned that Section 2 of the Disability Act, which provides that the Federal Ministry of Information shall make provisions for promotion of awareness regarding: (a) the rights, respect and dignity of persons with disabilities, (b) the capabilities, achievements and contributions of persons with disabilities to the society; this has not happened for four years after the passage of the Act.

“This is made obvious through the prioritisation of disability issues in budgetary provisions by 16 federal MDAs responsible for disability affairs in Nigeria. This is made worse in states with a disability commission with little or no resources for operations, turning them into institutions of begging.

“Therefore, if the governments are not implementing the disability laws in the land, who will protect the rights of PWDs?

“We call on members of the Federal and States House of Assembly to demand the budgetary provisions and activities from all MDAs for the full implementation of the Disability Law.”

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