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Enugu PWDs blame lawmakers for alleged discrimination

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Persons with disabilities (PWDs), yesterday, alleged unfairness in Enugu State by the inability of the state House of Assembly to domesticate the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Law enacted by the National Assembly in 2018.

The legislation, which prescribes a fine of between N100, 000 and N1, 000,000 or six-month imprisonment or both for infraction, was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.

They regretted that efforts to get the state legislature to give vent to the law, which is currently operational in Plateau, Lagos, Kano, Adamawa, Ekiti and Anambra states, had been unfruitful.

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Addressing reporters in Enugu yesterday, president, Association of Lawyers with Disabilities in Nigeria (ALDIN), Daniel Onwe, stated: “Enugu State as part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had no excuse to conduct its affairs in violation of the provisions of the Act.

“The Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (prohibition) Law is an Act of the National Assembly for every part of Nigeria, including Enugu State. This is in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which provide that the National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the federation. Enugu is part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Laws are meant to be obeyed. The government, organisations and the good people of Enugu State need to demonstrate to the world that they are law-abiding. It is imperative therefore, for the government, organisation and good people of Enugu State to make definite commitments to comply with the provisions of this Act.”

He claimed that government had “continued to breach aspects of the law. For instance, Section 4 of the Act provides that a public building shall be constructed with necessary aids such as lifts, ramps and others that shall make them accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.”

Onwe continued: “Unfortunately, in Enugu State, not only are the old public buildings not accessible, but even THE new public ones and renovations that came after the commencement of the Act flagrantly violate the provisions of the Act. Overwhelming majority of public buildings in Enugu State is inaccessible, having steep steps, with neither ramps nor lifts.

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