A cross-section of Persons With Disabilities
Photo: Julian Osamoto
Person’s With Disabilities (PWDs) have called for the appointment of members as ministers and commissioners in federal and state cabinets.
Briefing journalists in Abuja, the Founder of The Albino Foundation (TAF) Africa, Jake Epelle, said this would ensure effective representation of PWDs in decision-making.
Expressing disappointment that none of the engaged PWD candidates won the polls, Mr Ekpelle noted that their willingness to contest is a strong message that PWDs are capable of contesting for elective positions in the country.
“We wish to express our disappointment that despite the disability inclusion interventions at the national level, the transition committee of the president-elect has no representation of the community of persons with disabilities”.
“This could have been a unique opportunity to break down social stigmas. The elected individuals have a duty to entrench disability inclusion in their governance by making their political appointments disability inclusive”.
“By being appointed as ministers, commissioners, heads of parastatals, special advisers, etc, PWDs are empowered to take their place alongside other citizens in policies formation”.
Mr Ekpelle who said about 34 PWDs vied for elective positions in the just concluded elections, disclosed that insecurity, thuggery and poor provision of assistive devices were contributory factors against their success.
He added that fighting discrimination against PWDs can only be achieved, when institutions, government, and the people collectively campaign for the rights of PWDs.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Tony Okerafor