Physically challenged want movement aids for Confab representatives

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The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, a non-governmental organisation, has urged the Federal Government to provide devices that would aid movement of delegates with physical challenges at the National Conference.

The Executive Director of the centre, David Anyaele, who made the appeal in Lagos, said that the government should provide lift and ramp and other devices that would enable the physically challenged to move freely at the conference.

He said that without the facilities, such delegates might be marginalised as they might not be able to compete with able-bodied delegates in getting their opinions captured. “Delegates with disabilities at the conference are very small with little or no voice,” he said.

He claimed that there had not been a legal framework to protect citizens with physical challenges against discrimination, neglect and harmful practices.

“Sections 15 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution, even as amended, is silent on discrimination on the grounds of disability; this conference provides a platform to address this human rights abuse.

“We demand a stop to all forms of discrimination and harmful practices against disabled persons. We call on delegates from the civil society groups to take adequate steps to ensure the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.

“We also call on the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federal to take appropriate measures to create equal opportunities for all at the conference,” he said.

Anyaele urged the Senate to expedite action on the passage of the Nigerian Disability Bill to reduce discrimination, exclusion and isolation of Nigerians with physical challenges.

He noted that the House of Representatives had passed the bill into law, and that the bill was awaiting passage by the Senate and harmonisation by the two chambers.

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