Samuel Bello, Abuja
Sequel to the recently completed legislative action by the National Assembly (NASS) on the discrimination against persons with disabilities, Coalition of Disability Organisation (CODO) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Nigerian Disability Bill into law.
Convener of CODO, David Anyaele, who made the plea at a media briefing, in Abuja, called on President Buhari to sign the bill before December 3, 2018, which is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Anyaele said signing the bill into law would maximally boost human capital development and encourage indigenous and foreign participation of persons with disabilities in economic, social and political development of the country.
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He added that it would demonstrate Nigeria’s commitment to honour its international obligations as one of the countries at the vanguard of the landmark international treaty aimed at protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
He said, “Recall on Saturday March 21st 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari, the then presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), pledged during a town hall meeting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, to end discrimination and stigmatisation against persons with disabilities in Nigeria if elected into office. We urge the President to fulfill his promise by signing the Nigeria Disability Bill into an act.
“We believe he is a man of his words and he has integrity to fulfill his promise and it is the time for him to demonstrate that people with disabilities in his administration should be included and be accorded all the relevant rights of this bill.
“This is the only bill that touches the weak, most marginalized and the poorest of the poorest. Without signing this bill, no government efforts will touch the lives of Nigerians.
“Many of our soldiers are living with disabilities as a result of the dangers in the northeast so what will the government do. This bill is meant to help protect them and not marginalize them.”