JONAPWD, ERPWDI seek emergency meeting with NASS leadership over Commission for Persons with Disabilities


By SINL Reporter

A coalition of people living with disabilities has sought an emergency meeting with the leadership of National Assembly on the need for the establishment of a National Commission for Persons Living with Disabilities.

The groups; Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) and Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities International, Inc. (ERPWDI), made their position known, on Tuesday, in Abuja.

In a letter written to request for emergency bipartisan meeting with the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives and a copy made available to newsmen, Miss Omotunde Ellen Thompson, Deputy Chairperson/Secretary, JONAPWD, and Chief Eric Ufom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ERPWDI, said it was time the persons living with disabilities were carried along on issues bothering on them.

“This is so because we, the Nigerians with disabilities, who wear the shoes, know where it pinches.

“It is our legal and constitutional rights to be in charge under the mandates set by the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Article 4.3.

“It ensures that from the beginning to the end of every meeting whereby decisions of forming an independent, implementation commission for the Nigerians with Disabilities Act (NDA) are to be made, persons with disabilities must be represented.

“We hope that government would respect this constitutional, civil, human and disability rights given directly to us by the UN.

“We, therefore, humbly and respectfully request from the National Assembly to call for an emergency meeting, as they concluded on 7th April, 2020 and extend invitations to each of our national disability leaders as mandated by the UN CRPD article 4.3, because nothing about us, without us,” they said.

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According to them, this is in the interest of justice, due process, fair procedure and equal protections for Nigerians with disabilities.

“Sir, please note that this request for emergency official legislative meeting on disability matters will equally be a lengthy narrative.

“This is because we agreed on everything said or written by ERPWDI; letters and petition dated 27th April, 2020 and 13th May, 2020. “Therefore Sir,  I, Miss Omotunde Ellen Thompson, humbly and respectfully moves, under my official capacity to advocate for the new disability law,” the letter read in part. 

President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Jan. 23, 2019, assented to Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.

Section 31 of the Act provides for the setting up of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities with Executive Secretary as the head.


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