By Ekeoma Ogwo/Mistura Adeosun
Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director of Centre for Citizens With Disability (CCD) has canvased for equal opportunities for Persons With Disability (PWDs) and access to participate in the political and governmental activities in the country.
Obinna made the appeal in Lagos as part of activities to mark the International Day For Persons With Disabilities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2021 edition of the global celebration marked annually on Dec.3 is themed: “Leadership And Participation Of Persons With Disabilities Toward Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post Covid-19 World”.
Anyaele said that the theme for the 2021 edition was in tandem with the project of the CCD, which “is enhancing access to justice and participation of PWDs in the political process,”
“In the recent past, we have been making moves to position PWDs in leadership positions, and one of the key leadership positions.
“We believe that if we are able to get political leadership involving PWDs, it will go a long way towards enhancing their participation, equal opportunity and leading the nation to promote a society that respects the rights of PWDs in the country,” he said.
The director acknowledged that Lagos State in particular, has passed a law that protected the rights of PWDs, including political positions for PWDs.
He also cited the Jan. 17, 2019 signing into law of “The Discrimination of PWDs Rights Act” by President Muhammad Buhari, which also provided that PWDs be encouraged to participate in leadership positions, including political leadership.
“You can’t play politics on an equal basis with others if you are not assured of justice. Access to justice is the bedrock of political participation, including leadership.
“Where you cannot guarantee access to justice, then a leadership position may elude you.” Anyaele said.
According to him, through this project, CCD has interfaced with the leadership of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC).
“Our presence at the annual meeting is another demonstration of their strong commitment that the time for PWDs to play their part in the political leadership of this country is now.
“I want to talk to the leadership of the clusters that are present here; we have virtually all the clusters of leaders, including LASODA present
“We need to begin to penetrate all the political parties. Nobody will give it to us, except we grab it.
“They have opened the door, they’ve asked us to come in, they’ve asked us to take position.
“We cannot make a change for us if we do not invade political parties and drive them to the destination we want to appear,” he said. (www.nannewa.ng)