The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has lauded the leadership of the National Assembly for Gazetting the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act.
In a statement signed by CCD Executive Director, David O. Anyaele, he noted that with this gazetting, the Disability Act regime has been announced by the government as part of laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and could be sited at the court of law now.
While acknowledging the fact that the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act was signed on January 23, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari after a protracted campaign by organisations of persons with disabilities in Nigeria, Anyaele also appreciated the fact that the passage of the Disability Bill into an Act is in fulfilment of Nigeria’s obligation to the international community and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
He however called on the Federal Government to take urgent actions to ensure implementation of the National Disability Act so as to ensure that the purpose of the Act is met.
He stated further that the Act will ensure full integration of persons with disabilities into the society and also establish the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities as well as vests the commission with the responsibilities for their education, health care, social, economic and civil rights is achieved, is implemented fully.
“The first step expected from the government is the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities as provided in part 7, section 31 of the National Disability Act”, Anyaele noted.
He called on the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to take urgent action to ensure the full implementation of part 1, section 2 of the Act which provides that the ministry shall make provisions for promotion of awareness regarding- the rights, respect and dignity of persons with disabilities; capabilities, achievements and contributions of persons with disabilities to the society.
Meanwhile CCD has joined PWDs in Kogi State and Nigeria as a whole to applaud Governor Yahaya Bello and members of the sixth State House of Assembly for the passage of the Disability Bill into law in the state.
“We commend your efforts and commitment in ensuring that no one is abused by reason of disability”, said the Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities.
Speaking further, he said the signing of the Disability Bill into law by Kogi State Government has placed the state in the Royal Hall of Disability friendly states in Nigeria.
Anyaele appealed further for total implementation of the #DisabilityActNGR in Kogi State to ensure the attainment of the objectives of the law, and improved PWDs participation in democratic governance in the State.
In the meantime, CCD has begun consultations with organisations of persons with disabilities in the North-west geo-political zone for conscription into anti-corruption fight through Stand against Corruption (#UpRight4Nigeria) Campaign beginning from Kano State.
The campaign which is being implemented through an UKAid funded project on Strengthening Citizens Resistance against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) is aimed at contributing to a reduction in corruption as a result of changing public attitudes that increasingly disapprove of corrupt activities.
The SCRAP-C is an anti-corruption project being implemented by six Consortium of six National Civil Society Organisations – ActionAid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development, and Centre for Communication and Programmes in Nigeria and three other implementing partners including WARDC, HEDA, and Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD).
In his opening remark at the end of consultative meeting with Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) on Anti-Corruption Fight in Nigeria Organised by the CCD last Friday in Kano State, Anyaele who was represented by the Senior Programme Officer, Mr. Kola Ogunbiyi commended OPDs in Nigeria and Kano State in particular for their interest and commitment in the fight against corruption in the society, which was demonstrated by the turnout of heads of PWDs organisation present at the consultative meeting.
The mobilisation meeting had in attendance heads of organisations of persons with disabilities in the State including the leadership and executive members of the Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD)
Anyaele noted further that citizens with disabilities are the worst hit as a result of prevalence of corruption in the society, as resource meant for healthcare, education, rehabilitation of citizens with disabilities and social infrastructures has been abused by those in authority.
This situation, Anyaele stressed, deepens the poverty situation in the society as disability causes poverty, and poverty causes disability.
Anyaele further stated that CCD is committed to strengthening the capacity of organisations of persons with disabilities in Nigeria to contribute to the fight against corruption in the nation.
This, according him informed the project, which is currently running in South east-Enugu State and South south- Akwa Ibom State, as the project will also be lunched among organisations of persons with disabilities in South west- Lagos State; and Kaduna State.
Anyaele called on persons with disabilities to join forces with other relevant civil society organisations to stand against corruption through refusal to participate in corrupt practices; refuse to give or take bribe, gratification before carrying out services; to uphold the value of honesty, integrity, transparency and hard work.
CCD founder further called on organisations of persons with disabilities to join forces with CSOs to speak against corruption, and engage in campaign activities to promote anti-corruption in our society, as negative impact of corruption does not discriminate, and persons with disabilities bears the greatest negative impact of corruption in our society.