Group canvasses inclusion of people living with disability in governance
The Muslim Association of Visually impaired of Nigeria (MAVIN), has urged political parties to reserve at least 10 per cent slots for persons living with disabilities in the selection of candidates for elective offices.
This, according to the group is to guarantee equal opportunity and inclusion of persons living with disabilities in policy formulation and implementation, to give them a sense of belonging.
President of the association, Mr. Dahiru Gambo, in a statement signed by the spokesperson of the group, Alhaji Abdul-Wasiu Salaudeen, to commemorate this year’s International Day of Disabled Persons, said there are many competent, reliable and qualified persons among them.
“The aim of the day is to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development and to increase awareness on their situation in every aspect of life.
“We will be a lot happier if government at all levels can carry along persons living with disability in their administration, we hardly see people living with disability in the National Assembly or state level. We deserve a sense of belonging; we have among us well-educated persons who are politicians but when it comes to the selection of candidates for elective positions, we are relegated to the background.”
He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for initiating reforms that would allow disabled persons to exercise their civic rights ahead of the 2023 general elections, saying the electoral body has so far provided facilities needed to vote during elections.
Speaking on the theme for this year’s celebration, “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world,” Gambo called on well-meaning Nigerians to support persons living with disabilities to make their lives comfortable. “Not necessarily in terms of money but employment or empowerment tools that would assist them in becoming employers of labour.
He lamented a situation where people see people with disabilities as beggars, pointing out that many of them are graduates with good grades.
He also called on persons living with disabilities to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the government to acquire skills that would make them self-reliant, noting that the only way out of poverty is empowerment.