The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Mr Peter Obi, has called on all levels of governments to include Persons with Disabilities in the current public sector for smooth administration of democracy and equal governance.
Also, he urged Nigerians not to take part in segregating disabled persons from the general public for the purpose of promoting equality and sense of belonging in society.
This was made known in a statement on his X account in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Sunday.
He wrote, “As the world commemorates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, I join other compassionate Nigerians in identifying with and celebrating these differently abled persons in our midst.“I join in demanding a better nation for them as fellow compatriots, living with disabilities not by their making.
Living with disability should not be a death sentence, or society stigmatization, but should be a platform that calls up the humanity in us as their brothers and sisters.It’s unfortunate that in our clime where good governance is hard to come by leading to needless hardship, those living with disabilities in our midst feel the pinch more as life becomes more difficult for them.”
The former Anambra governor asked the government to provide adequate care for the number of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.“The World Health Organisation reports that about 35.1 million persons are living with disabilities in Nigeria. Such a significant number of people must be cared for by the government so that they can live their lives in full, and contribute positively to the development of the nation,” Obi stated.
In caring for persons living with disabilities, the government must ensure that they have access to healthcare and education, which are not only critical for national development, but will ensure that they thrive and fully explore their potentials.
“We, as a people, must break all barriers of discrimination against those living with disabilities. We are all differently gifted.
The government should also ensure social inclusion for persons living with disabilities. In keeping with the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, all public organizations are to reserve at least five percent of employment opportunities for these persons.
This will ensure that they are adequately represented in both governance and the public sector. Every Nigerian has the potential to contribute to nation-building and we will leave nobody behind in our journey to New Nigeria.”