The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), has applauded the All Progressives Congress (APC) for electing Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) into its National Working Committee (NWC).
APC held its national convention on March 26 in Abuja where the election was held.
Mr. David Anyaele, CCD’s Executive Director gave the commendation in a statement issued in Abuja.
“We commend the APC for electing Mr. Tolu Bankole, Ogun State, as the party’s PWDs leader and the election of the other six PWD zonal leaders at the convention.
“We congratulate the seven PWDs elected to the National Working Committee of the APC.
“By this singular act, APC has once again demonstrated that the inclusion of citizens with disabilities in the party’s hierarchy and affairs is profitable if we must experience inclusive, good governance in Nigeria,’’ he stated.
Anyaele added that the party had set a new standard of inclusiveness worthy of emulation by other political parties.
He stated also that the APC was setting a crucial example for other parties on how to implement Section 30 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act 2018.
Section 30 of the Act provides that PWDs shall be fully encouraged to participate in the nation’s politics and public life.
“Government shall actively promote an environment in which Persons with Disabilities can effectively and fully participate in activities and administration of political parties,’’ the section states.
Anyaele stated that it was imperative that other political parties emulated the APC in the integration of vulnerable groups, particularly Persons with Disabilities in political party activities.
“APC was able to achieve this because inclusiveness is in the party’s Constitution,’’ he stated.
He urged other parties to follow suit and not treat matters of PWDs and the inclusion of vulnerable groups from a charity point of view.
Anyaele appealed for the amendment of the Constitutions of the other 17 political parties to accommodate PWDs in their National Working Committees.
According to him, inclusion is a fundamental right of the party members. According to him:
“Regrettably, 15 out of the 18 political parties’ Constitutions have no provision for the election of citizens with disabilities into party hierarchy. This is worrisome. We, therefore, call on the newly-elected APC PWDs leaders to take advantage of their positions to ensure that their party goes beyond electing PWD leaders to the appointment of PWDs as members of the Federal Executive Council. They should also work toward the appointment of PWDs as heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of governments at all levels,’’
Anyaele also urged the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) to focus on delivering its mandate to ensure the attainment of its purpose.
He noted that the core purpose of the NCPWD was to ensure the full integration of PWDs into society, with responsibilities for their education, healthcare, and the protection of their social, economic, and civic rights.
Anyaele reiterated the commitment and readiness of CCD to support the Commission in the achievement of its goals and mandate for the benefit of no fewer than 31 million Nigerians with disabilities. (NAN)