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Disabilities Group Sends Urgent Message To Buhari On Electoral Act

President Muhammadu Buhari has been called to take a major step on the disabilities bill.

A disabilities rights group, Centre for Citizen with Disabilities made this call on Friday.

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In a statement signed by the CCD Executive Director, David Anyaele, President Buhari was called to assent to the Electoral Act 2021.

This bill allows persons with disabilities unlimited access to partake in the electoral process.

“We are marking this day at a time Nigerians are awaiting the assent of the President on a Bill for an Act To Repeal The Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 And Enact The Electoral Act 2021. To Regulate The Conduct Of Federal, State And Area Councils In The Federal Capital Territory Elections; And For Related Matters.

“The Bill provides for the removal of barriers that hinders citizens with disabilities from participating in the electoral process on an equal basis with others.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into an Act the Electoral Bill without further delay in order to open space for necessary actions towards 2023 General Elections.” The statement read in parts.

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Anyaele revealed that only 13 states of the federation had accepted the act. He also urged other states to adopt the Disability Rights Act.

The states are:

  1. Lagos.
  2. Anambra.
  3. Ekiti.
  4. Ondo.
  5. Plateau.
  6. Bauchi.
  7. Kano.
  8. Kaduna.
  9. Jigawa.
  10. Kogi.
  11. Niger.
  12. Kwara

The group noted that failure by state governments to adopt this bill would further increase this discrimination.

“We are worried that 36 months after the passage of the Disability Rights Act, only 13 states have demonstrated measures to adopt the Act.”

 “We call on the State governments yet to adopt the National Disability Rights Act to do so without further delay,” the statement added.

“This is important because failure in this regard is an indirect endorsement of discrimination and other harmful practices against their citizens with disabilities.

It is important for state governments to make inclusion and participation of citizens with disabilities in governance and development programmes a priority, as it is very expensive and difficult to live with a disability without government support.”

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The group emphasized on the need for Nigeria to protect the rights of persons living with disabilities. The statement added that without this, Nigeria will not e able to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals.

“Acknowledging that Nigeria has signed the United Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities including its optional protocols. We state that SDGs will not be achieved if state and none state actors continue to discriminate, isolate and marginalize over 31 million Nigerians with disabilities in planning and implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria,” the group stated.

Source: PUNCH HealthWise

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