CEDAR SEED, an Abuja based NGO, says inclusiveness of People With Disability (PWD) in the country’s electoral process is imperative for stronger democracy.
Ms Lois Auta, Founder of the organisation, stated this at a news conference on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Auta said that the call was in tandem with the one of the key tenets of democracy, which is comprehensive and inclusive political process.”
“Nigeria is a signatory to several International and regional instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
“These two instruments emphasise the right of citizens of member states to take part in governance directly or directly, UDHR article 21(1) and UNCRPD article 29,” Auta said.
She also explained that the 1999 constitution had conferred on every citizen the right to freedom from discrimination as provided in section 42.
According to her, Section 12 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, has no prohibitions for those with disabilities.
She, however, noted the violation of rights of People With Disabilities (PWD) in spite of the provisions of the law.
“Unfortunately, persons with disabilities are excluded from the entire political process due to attitudinal and institutional barriers.”
Also speaking, Chief Peter Ahmed, National Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), promised to partner with People With Disabilities (PWD) in ensuring their inclusiveness in Nigeria’s political process.
Ahmed urged unity among them, saying that their aspiration was realisable with their population in the country.
He said that his political party in the last election issued forms to persons with disabilities free as way of including them.
reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, had on Jan. 23, signed the Disability Act, which provides for total inclusion and association of PWD in Nigeria without discrimination.
Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore