Raphael Ede, Enugu
The Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disabilities (JNAPLWD), Enugu State Council, has decried high level of structural and cultural discrimination against their members in the state.
The association also said that the failure of the Enugu State Government to domesticate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) has denied them quality lives.
Chairman of the association, Mr. Gab Nnamani spoke, on Wednesday, in Enugu, while briefing newsmen on the non-passage of the Nigerian Disability Bill by the National Assembly and the state government.
He said that the association had pressed hard to ensure that the bill was passed in the state, but that their efforts had been rebuffed, even when six states of Anambra, Ekiti, Lagos, Nassarawa and two others had since domesticated the bill.
“Our deaf colleagues and even the visually impaired are being denied of certain forms of assistance which ordinarily would have made them lead quality lives.
“We have pressed so hard for the bill to be passed in the state but it has been the same story with other states,” he said.
Nnamani appealed to the state governor to send an executive bill on the matter and prevail on the lawmakers to pass same.
He said that their members were equally serving the National Assembly a notice of imminent face-off for their failure to pass the bill at the centre.
He said that the bill was introduced in the 5th Assembly, adding that it was surprising that up to this point the lawmakers had not found it necessary to pass it.
“It is worthy to note that Nigeria being a signatory to the UNCRPD and its operational protocol has no legal framework to mainstream persons living with disabilities into development agenda.
“It has been 18-year long nightmare as the bill has not seen the light of day from the 5th Assembly till date,” he said.