By Joy Odor
All Progressives Congress (APC), National Leader, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) Tolu Bankole has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for signing into law instrument of ratification on AU Charter on rights of Persons With Disabilities.
Bankole who gave the recommendation in a press statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday described the ratification of the AU Charter on rights of Persons With Disabilities as a demonstration of the President’s love for PWDs and commitment to change the sorry state of PWDs for good in Nigeria.
“This ratification has again showed our President’s open show of love and solid institutional commitment to make Nigeria inclusive for all irrespective of the ones disabilities.
“According to a UN report, almost 80 per cent of persons with disabilities live in developing countries.
In Africa a growing number of persons are added to the list of persons with disabilities due to different socio-economic factors, including the consequences of war, poverty, diseases, ageing, malnutrition, natural calamities and disasters and accidents.
“The renewed hope drive of President Tinubu is anchored on assurance of a paradigm shift. This ratification represents this departure from empty promises of socioeconomic and political inclusion of millions of PWDs without commensurate inclusive policies for the young, women and elderly Persons With Disabilities.
“Our country, the giant of Africa has again lived up to expectations. It has reaffirmed our belief that with pragmatic and visionary leadership, Nigeria can take its place in the comity of nations.
We collectively promise our unalloyed loyalty to the administration of Mr President as it goes to work on the general obligations of the Charter which include: adopting measures for the full implementation of the Protocol; mainstreaming disability in policies, legislation, development plans, programmes and in all spheres of life.
“Adequate provisions have been made in the Protocol to guarantee all fundamental rights of women and girls with disabilities, children with disabilities, youths with disabilities and older persons with disabilities. These cover broad needs for education, health, work, political inclusion, security among others.
“Signing of the instrument of ratification on AU Charter on rights of Persons With Disabilities implies that PWDs can now demand equal opportunities not charity from government at all levels.
I call on all PWDs’ clusters and stakeholders to throw their weight behind the renewed hope administration that is on track to wipe away tears from the faces of Persons With Disabilities in Nigeria.