Nigeria Has the Capacity to Mentor African Countries on Disability Inclusion - Executive Secretary

Paschal Emeka, Abuja | February 21, 2023

As the 2023 general elections approach, the Executive Secretary of, the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, NCPWD, Mr James David Lalu has announced that Nigeria has proven to be the giant of Africa and is ready to lead the continent on political participation and inclusion of persons living with disabilities.

This was disclosed by Mbanefo JohnMichaels
Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, NCPWD in Abuja.

Receiving a delegation of the National Democratic Institute, NDI, Ethiopia and Washington DC, 21st February 2023, in Abuja, the Commission’s boss assured that Nigeria is well positioned to lead the entire population of Persons With Disabilities, PWDs across Africa to an inclusive political participation that will earn them the right attention and recognition.

The Executive Secretary further described Nigeria as a learning ground that ECOWAS and the African Union, AU, need to focus on to develop the capacity of its member states.

“I am pleased to inform you that there are 10 Persons with Disabilities amongst the presidential appointees of the Federal Government of Nigeria which demonstrates the commitment to inclusivity of Persons With Disabilities in governance here in Nigeria,” he disclosed.

Lalu also stated that it is on record that 13 out of the 36 states in Nigeria have passed the Disability law as entrenched in the 2018 prohibition law against the discrimination of Persons with Disabilities.

“May I also reiterate that this can be replicated in Ethiopia once you are able to institute a commission for Persons with Disabilities in the country,” he opined.

He, however, pledged his commitment to work with the Nigerian Foreign Ministry to collaborate with the Ethiopian Prime Minister towards advancing the course of PWDs in that country.

He further promised to offer the necessary assistance to foreign observers, especially PWDs in the coming days towards the Nigerian general elections.

Expressing gratitude to the Executive Secretary, the leader of the Delegation, Dr Franklyn Oduro commended the giant strides of Mr Lalu in such a record time since the establishment of NCPWD.

Oduro underscored that Ethiopia is the second largest population in Africa after Nigeria and will be willing to take a cue from the progress reports of the inclusivity of PWDs in Nigeria.

He, however, attributed the rising figures of PWDs in Ethiopia to the persistent conflicts in the country. 

Franklyn also lamented that out of the 53 registered political parties at the general elections held in 2021, only one of the political parties had a manifesto on PWDs.

He, therefore, used the medium to call on the Executive Secretary to be their ambassador in order to enlighten the PWDs and the government of Ethiopia on the need for collaboration.

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