ADE Oyesile, executive director, Christian Association of Nigerian Americans, CANAN, has joined the league of those are calling for the disability bill in the National Assembly to be signed into law.
Lack of action by the Nigerian government over the years on this very important bill, Oyesile said, “has left this population very vulnerable to massive physical, emotional, and physiological abuse, neglect, and total exclusion from the Nigerian society.”
In a position statement by Williams Ekanem, media adviser to the CANAN, the executive director, said: “it is a great shame and unacceptable that government is nonchalant and very insensitive to the plight of people with disabilities.”
While calling on the Muhammadu Buhari administration to do the right thing by signing the long awaited bill into law, CANAN executive director pointed out that it would be a disservice to people with disabilities that after years of advocacy and agitation, the disability bill got stuck for eight years on former President Goodluck Jonathan’s table, despite the fact that it was debated and passed both the Federal House of Assembly and Senate for two terms.
Oyesile’s call is in line with those of Centre for Disability, CCD Nigeria, Justice for All, J4A, the Ford Foundation and other stakeholders that have variously advocated for years now, on the need for the disability bill to be signed into law in the country.
Advocates of this bill say the absence of this law, has made it that people living with disabilities have little or no special access to public infrastructure and buildings as banks, court house, police station, government buildings, even places of worship.
The list extents to people with disabilities having to compete with able body individuals for access to gainful employment, health care, schools and public transportation as in other countries that make live more comfortable for those with disabilities.
With more than 20 million Nigerians living with various disabilities, the CANAN executive director stressed that law makers and indeed the government should as a matter of urgency ensure their rights and interest are protected and that they are included and properly integrated into the society.
The CANAN is the leading voice of Nigerian American Christians living in the United States with the mission to vigorously advocate for all Nigerians at home and abroad as well as mobilize Nigerians to participate in nation building process wherever they find themselves.
The association has been in the forefront against anti societal activities and led the call for the classification of Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States in 2010 and also held several rallies in US cities to protest the kidnap of school girls by the religious sect.
— Sep 19, 2016 @ 15:00 GMT