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Disability Community Urgently Appeals to President Tinubu for Equal Representation in Government Leadership

In a heartfelt open letter dated February 29, 2024, Dr. Chike Okogwu, the Founder, and Chief Responsibility Officer of an influential disability advocacy group, Center For Ability, Rehabilitation And Empowerment, (CARE) addressed His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu, appealing for immediate action to rectify what they perceive as a lopsided representation in the Disability community government leadership.

The letter expressed gratitude for the recent appointment of Comrade Mohammed Abba Isa as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities. However, it raised concerns about the concentration of appointments from the North region, highlighting potential violations of the Federal Character Act’s principles.

According to Section 14(3) of the Federal Character Act, government agencies should reflect the federal character of Nigeria to promote national unity and avoid the predominance of individuals from specific states or ethnic groups.

Furthermore, the dissolution of the board of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities without the immediate constitution of a new board raised alarm bells for the disability community. This left various clusters within the community, including the blind, physically disabled, deaf, persons with albinism, those with intellectual disabilities, individuals with spinal cord injuries, and those with leprosy, feeling unsatisfied and concerned about fair representation and effective governance.

In their appeal to President Tinubu, the disability community urgently requests equal representation by appointing individuals from diverse regions of Nigeria to key positions within government leadership. This move aims to uphold constitutional principles, foster inclusivity, and strengthen democracy.

Acknowledging the urgency of the matter, the letter mentions plans for a protest scheduled for March 1, 2024, coinciding with International Wheelchair Day. The disability community, as respected advocates, trusts in President Tinubu’s commitment to addressing their concerns promptly and positively.

Dr. Chike Okogwu, in signing off the letter, expressed hope that the appeal would receive the attention it deserves, emphasizing the significance of ensuring equal representation for the disability community in the highest echelons of government leadership.

The Letter


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