By Jacob Ndifreke – Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, January 17, 2020.
Pained by the discrimination and non-compliance of the Disability Rights Law signed by Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari in January 2019, scores of Physically Challenged Persons under the auspices of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) held a protest in the country’s capital, Abuja, Friday, January 17, 2020, to bewail the continued discrimination against them in public service.
The conspicuously angry group lamented that the Nigerian government has failed to implement the law which according to them if implemented will make provision for their welfare and accommodation in the public service sector and curb further discrimination in public places.
The Disability Rights Law was assented by President Buhari on January 17, 2019, after the bill was passed by lawmakers in the Upper Chambers (Senate). The law forbids discrimination against persons living with disabilities in public places and facilities like airports, seaports, railways and encourages quality welfare provision for the group from service providers in Nigeria.
It also advocates for the rights and privileges of disabled persons to education, healthcare, priority in accommodation and emergencies. But the law remains a smokescreen since its promulgation.
The angry group while threatening to shut down government offices and private organizations who failed to comply with the provision of the law stormed various top government offices including the Office of the Secretary to the Nigerian Government and Ministry of Justice.
Director of the group, David Anyaele while addressing journalists during the protest lamented bitterly over what he described as insensitivity on the part of the government towards the implementation of the law. He advised the government to expedite action so that the yearnings of the group are addressed.