Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD, has urged Persons with Disabilities to take part in political leadership with support of a functional access to justice.

Excutive Director of CCD, David Anyaele said this at a one day event organized to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Anyaele said: “We believe that involving Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in leadership, will go a long way in influence fuller participation of PWDs in leadership thus helping the nation to improve the lives of PWDs.

“Lagos State is one of the few States that have passed a law that protects the rights and participation of PWDs in leadership, including the political offices.

“President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Persons with Disabilities ACT on January 17, 2019. The same Act provides that PWDs be encouraged to participate in voting activities which involves leadership.”

The theme for this year international Disability Day: “Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities Toward an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post Covid-19 World”, well resonates with Anyaele’s message.

According to Anyaele, “What we are doing today is to deepen our knowledge of what it takes to make participation of PWDs in political leadership possible through access to justice.

“We can’t play politics equally with others if we do not have the security of justice. Access to Justice is important, it’s the bedrock for political participation including leadership which is not in charity.

“We have also partnered with Inter Party Advisory of Nigeria, IPAC, and our presence at the annual meeting demonstrates that the time for PWDs to participate in politics have come.

“We have invited practically all leaders of clusters including LASODA’s presence. I want to speak with the leadership of the clusters.

“We need to begin to penetrate all politics parties, as no one will give it to us on a platter except we take it by force.

“We have opened the door and they have asked us to come in and take positions.

“It’s by penetration into politics that we can enter political parties and understand what politics and inclusive society is all about so that no one is left behind the policy process.

“I also want to use this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu buhari to sign the electoral bill into an Act. It’s expected that we gave him 30 days to sign the bill

Explaining further David said “The Bill makes key provisions for participation and encourage PWDs to be part of electoral process. Enough provisiosn will be made for them to meaningfully participate.

“In the previous electoral act, the word “may” was used but now may has been removed and replaced with “shall”. This means that INEC, is under obligation to provide all facilities to support PWDs.

“The Bill also makes provision for collection of data of PWDs in the course of voters registration. The electoral body is under compliance to monitor the kind of disability individuals have in order to make provisions for them”, he said.

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