Stakeholders sympathetic to the cause of persons living with disability have decried Federal Government’s glaring lack of action toward implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, one year after it was assent to law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) which marked the historic signing of the Act in Abuja on Monday also lamented government inertia toward implementation of relevant provisions of the Act especially the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
David Anyaele, Executive Director of CCD, who led stakeholders and development partners to mark the signing, after 18 years gestation period, also regretted failure of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to initiate action on implementation of Section 2 of the Act which empowers the ministry to create awareness of the rights, respect and dignity of persons with disabilities as well as highlight their capabilities, achievements and contributions of persons to the society.
In a communiqué issued at the end of an interactive engagement with media executives in Abuja, the stakeholders also urged media organisations to take active interest in the implementation of Act.
Noting that awareness of provision of the National Disability Act is low among practitioners and that many media organisation do not understand the provisions of the Act, the stakeholders urged the media to take more active interest in the Act bearing in mind that many persons with disabilities and their organisations do not have skill and capacity to engage the media on the implementation of the disability Act at the federal and state levels.”
Consequently, the stakeholders urged the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to begin public enlightenment activities, while it urged the Federal Government to activate the Persons with Disabilities National Commission.
The gathering also resolved to engage the processes for approval of public buildings including use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to question government compliance, plans and budgeting as regards to implementation of the National Disability Act.