By Kingsley Joshua
Former Presidential Aspirant of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dr Chike Okogwu has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for his friendly posture towards the persons with disability in the country.
He also commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for ensuring the setting up of a special committee of the House to give speedy consideration to issues surrounding disabilities and special needs.
Dr. Okogwu, in an interview with Daily Independent on Thursday in Abuja, said the move gave rise to the creation of a Commission for persons with disability, adding that the commission would help escalate more friendly policies for the demography.
He called for the removal of barriers stopping persons with disability from active political participation to allow for adequate representation in national affairs.
While insisting that physical disability does not impair the productivity of individuals, he observed an evolving culture in persons with disability are given more opportunities to contribute to national development.
The social equality advocate also regretted recent political events in the country, especially the conduct of 2023, as he lamented that the exercise did not meet the assurances given to Nigerians by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He expressed hopes in the capacity of the president-elect, Bola Tinubu to provide proper leadership, as he argued that INEC’s behaviour brought the exercise to disrepute.
On the recent allegations by the Labour Party (LP) about calls from purported security agents linked to the All Progressives Congress (APC), warning the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to flee the country, Dr Okogwu maintained that “there was no need for Peter Obi to leave the country”.
He further condemned clamour in some quarters asking those who lost the election to sheath their swords and move on.
According to him, the exercise was not free and fair, and it was “wrong to ask people to move on without addressing the cause of the grievances”.
“If the results were uploaded as INEC had said. People are hurt”, he added.
The Centre for Ability, Rehabilitation and Empowerment in Nigeria (CARENigeria) Convener, underscored that subsequent were widely compromised “as all parties that had structures, a system of governance did everything they could do to usurp the will of the people.
“In all, we are in a quagmire. At this point some of those who have won seats, as Rufai asked the other day, what exactly did they win.
Did they win the faith of the people? In a nutshell, we have a country to govern. Democracy is an evolving thing. And those who have grabbed the mandate as it were, snatched the mandate, and those whose mandates were stolen should seek redress by whatever means?”