Obaseki, group kick against prejudices, on Zero Discrimination Day
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said his government will sustain efforts at strengthening and ensuring enforcement of laws to protect and end all forms of discrimination and stigmatisation against people with disabilities, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and other vulnerable groups.
Obaseki gave the assurance in commemoration of the United Nations Zero Discrimination Day, marked every March 1, each year.
The 2023 celebration has the theme, “Save lives: Decriminalise.” Obaseki said: “This year’s Zero Discrimination Day presents another opportunity to renew our commitment to creating a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their race, status, gender, or any other factor. Discrimination has no place in a just and equitable society, and it behooves global stakeholders to work collectively, taking very critical steps to eliminate discrimination in all its forms.”
“As a government, we are proud to celebrate the diversity of our people and the richness it brings to our communities and will continue to promote inclusion, equity, tolerance, and the protection of human rights.”
SIMILARLY, Initiative for Advancement of the Albinism Cause (INAAC), a Non Governmental Organisation, yesterday, condemned social media content promoting the stigmatisation of Persons with Albinism (PWAs) in the society.
Founder of INAAC, Joy Odigie, in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin, said it was worrisome that discrimination had continued to heighten against PWAs, especially due to negative content on the social media space.
She said: “Albinism is a genetic condition that decreases the production of melanin, resulting in a fair skin complexion, light eyes and hair, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye conditions.
“PWAs in Nigeria have always had to contend with different forms of social discrimination and stigmatisation from a section of the population.
“Discrimination of this group of persons had led to murder, amputations, abuse and trafficking in body parts of PWAs in some parts of Nigeria.”
She said misinformation about albinism were propagated by some PWAs, who cared more about financial gains than respect for their fellow PWAs.
“Discrimination takes various forms. The term albino is often used in a derogatory way to dehumanise people with albinism.
“Skits are meant to educate persons and not to dehumanise people. Portraying persons with albinism as blind persons or calling them names, like afternoon, fake oyibo, is highly condemnable.
“The depiction and portrayal of PWAs in film and fiction has been asserted by different albinism organisations and others to be largely negative,” she said.
She called on the media to change the narrative by promoting the right information about albinism.
She also advocated stringent human rights laws to protect the rights of PWAs in society.