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People with disabilities threaten to boycott 2019 polls

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Casting of vote during a Nigerian election. Photo The Guardian

Special Persons Association of Nigeria has threatened to boycott the 2019 election, if government failed to tackle their needs.

President of the association, Princewill David, gave the threat yesterday during the group’s annual award and anniversary.

He expressed the association’s displeasure over government’s laxity in the affairs of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

According to him, persons with disabilities make up a large population in the country and the government doesn’t support them in anyways, unlike their counterparts in other parts of the world.

He said: “We have supported thousands of Nigerians with no government support, which shows that we are highly neglected.”

David insisted that he would use his power to influence no votes from the association; if the government does not do the right thing to make lives better for them.

He said: “I am the president and in the 2019 election, if I have the opportunity, I will tell every disabled group and their presidents to boycott it. We are not going to vote until the government remembers us.”

Also, a physically challenged lawyer and member of the association, Adeshola Ajayi, narrated his appalling experience as student at the University of Lagos, due to lack of efficient support system by government.

Ajayi lamented that Nigeria is not a safe place for disabled persons; hence he is demanding that the disability decree of 1993 be passed immediately.

The bill states that government organs and authorities shall take into consideration, the special needs and requirements of the disabled persons.

“It is so glaring that in this part of the world, we beg for our rights and sometimes they still don’t come to us. This is our time to stand tall and demand fair treatment from the government. Through this bill, the government will be more responsible for us,” he said.

Ajayi threatened that if their predicament is not looked into and their request granted, no person with disabilities would participate in the upcoming elections, adding: “If the presidency doesn’t honour our request, no disabled person will vote for these set of rulers.”


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