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Disability community berates PDP over exclusion from party leadership

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
07 November 2021   |   2:43 am
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has described as incomprehensible the non-inclusion of persons with disabilities in the leadership positions of the Peoples Democratic Party

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The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has described as incomprehensible the non-inclusion of persons with disabilities in the leadership positions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its just-concluded convention in Abuja.

CCD Executive Director, David Anyaele, who stated this, yesterday, in Abuja, expressed sadness that out of the 21 elective positions of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), none was allotted to persons with disabilities, neither was there any position for PWDs leader in the party hierarchy.

According to Anyaele, the development was a sad reminder of the pains and agony the party caused the disability community during their 16-year reign at the centre.

The director regretted that Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, PDP leaders and the then Presidents of Nigeria denied assent to the National Disability Bill.

He explained that the then Bill, now an Act, provided for the full integration of persons with disabilities into society, established the National Commission for their education, health care, social, economic and civil rights, among others.

He said: “The non-inclusion and provision of office of PDP disability leader in the party’s Constitution and the deliberate exclusion of persons with disabilities in the elective positions is a pointer that the future of the disability community in Nigeria is deemed in terms of participation in governance if PDP clinches power come 2023.”

“We are calling on PDP leadership to take appropriate measures to implement section 30 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018. The session provides for the full inclusion of citizens with disabilities in the party elective positions.

“PDP should include the state and national Disability Leadership positions in their party Constitution. This is to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the party structure, as obtainable in other parties’ constitutions.

“PDP leaders should know that the days of tokenism and charity-based approach to addressing disability issues in Nigeria has gone since January 17, 2019, when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.”