By Damilanre,

Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has called on all political parties in Nigeria to include Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in their constitutional frameworks, programs and activities so as to ensure their inclusion and participation in politics.

Mr. David Anyaele, the Executive Director of CCD made this call at a program organized in partnership with the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) with support from Voice Nigeria in Lagos State.

“We observe that in the last election, measures were not taken by political parties to include PwDs in elective positions in their parties. We are using this medium to tell them that the participation of PwDs is not charity but a Human right”. He said.

The Director, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Lagos State Office for Disabilities Affairs (LASODA), Mr. Oguntoye, in his goodwill messages, appreciated CCD for the giant stride in the pursuit of effectiveness of PwDs in all areas of life. “This is the first of its kind in the history of disability in Lagos State where political parties and PwDs sit to discuss the involvement and participation of PwDs in the electoral process”. He commended.

Mr. James Adeshina, Lagos State Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), commended CCD for organizing the programme which was paramount in addressing the challenges affecting PwDs during electioneering. He further advised all political parties to mainstream disability issues into their programs.

“Political Parties should embrace them and give them the opportunity to showcase their potential and contribute meaningfully to the development of the country”. He said.

INEC REC representative, Mrs. Fortune encouraged all the political parties to carry PwDs along so as to ensure the utilization of the potential that God has deposited in them.

Speaking at the Panel discussion, Mr. Anuoluwayinka Issac, the LG chapter coordinator of the blind lamented over the discrimination nature of some of the political parties during his quest to join one. “I was rejected many times by some political parties because of my disability”. He explained.

Ms. Oluwafunmilayo Mobolaji, a member of the Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria (SCIAN), also shared her experience on her inability to access some of the political parties secretariat which affected her participation in political parties affairs of the state. “I was told to go home because I could not have access to the party secretariat. I know I have alot to offer the party but I was denied the opportunity to prove my ability due to the inaccessible nature of the party secretariat”. She complained.

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