A group of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) on Tuesday protested in Abuja has decried the exclusion of persons in the categorical in the ministerial list proposed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Addressing a joint media conference, the community of PWDs said their omission violated the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Prohibition Act, 2018 which stated for the inclusion of at least five per cent of PWDs in public office appointments.
The Senate on Monday confirmed 45 out of the 48 ministerial nominees sent by President Tinubu.
The Chief Executive Officer, TAF Africa, Ambassador Jake Epelle and Executive Director, Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), Grace Jerry, among others spoke at the event.
In their joint statement, they said, “The recent ministerial list proposed by President Bola Tinubu has unfortunately overlooked the integral role that PWDs can and should play in Nigerian governance.
“The current lack of representation in the Federal Executive Council marks a missed opportunity to advance equality and justice for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
“Regrettably, despite this concerted effort and appeal, the new cabinet list presented to the Senate for screening and approval includes no ministers identifying as persons with disabilities.”
They noted that the the absence of PWDs in the new cabinet list deflates the hope and anticipation fostered by several organisations of PWDs, alongside other political leaders and international community despite their active participation in the nation’s electoral process and the last 2023 general elections.
They, therefore, demanded “An enforcement of Section 29 of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 which provides to the effect that a minimum of five per cent appointment quota for persons with disabilities at all levels of government, including states.
“An inclusion of persons with disabilities in decision-making processes concerning policies that directly or indirectly affect them e.g., the palliative committee on subsidy removal.”