Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Tinubu And Osinbajo Declarations To Run For 2023 Nigeria Presidency Dead On Arrival To Persons With Disabilities


The convener of the Persons With Disabilities Participation in Politics in Nigeria, Dr. Chike Okogwu, a Spinal Cord Injury Victor, has condemned the declaration to run for president by the APC leader Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the basis that both declarations did not mention or state categorically what they plan to do for persons with disabilities (PWD) and vulnerable persons in Nigeria.

It is sad, he noted that in a country like Nigeria with over 200 million PWDs and the world Health Organization statistics stating that about 15% of this population lives with disabilities meaning that in Nigeria persons with disabilities are estimated to be about 30 million persons which, is a huge number that can win an election any day and if you add family members, friends and relatives of these PWDs, it is clear and evident that persons with disabilities have the power to control the outcome of an election.

Be that as it may, Persons with Disabilities participating in politics have made it clear, far before now that only those who support the cause of persons with disabilities will be supported and therefore, the declaration by  the two APC leaders are dead on arrival noting sadly again that, in the past six years of APC leadership, Nigeria has witnessed a huge increase in the numbers of persons with disabilities as a result of motor accidents from bad roads, mental disability from bad economic policies leading to high rate of suicides and ritual murders,  injuries from insurgency by women, children and soldiers; economic deprivation of Nigerians by the weaponization of poverty and a whole lot of other things.

The group states categorically that anybody running for president henceforth in Nigeria must have a clear-cut plan of how to cater for PWD and the vulnerablein our society.

He further pointed out that it is a shame to note that in the 120 page document released by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that, not one single word on disability was mentioned in the 120 page document and asking if out of a 120 page document,  disabilities does not contain 5% as the very act of law signed by President Muhammadu Buhari which will be 3 years old in a few days time and greatly appreciated by the community of PWD. He stressed that, if the content of that act is not visibly articulated in a 120 page document by the vice-president  and the leader of the APC both preparing to run for president in their declarations, it then speaks volumes and should tell Nigerians and persons with disabilities not to expect anything from them. Any action now is an afterthought.

He rounded up by sounding a note of warning to all the presidential aspirants as they all come out to declare their interests in the Presidential seat that, persons with disabilities will not be neglected anymore. We are saying enough is enough and are mobilising to use this 2023 general elections and the two elections before them to show that the days of neglecting persons with disabilities are over. 

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