Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) today received the passage of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill 2016 by the Senate. This is the fourth time that the Nigerian Senate will pass the legislation that would protect more than 25 million Nigerians living with different forms of disability against all forms of discrimination and harmful practices.
By Our Reporter
The Centre expressed gratitude to the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki; Chairmen, Senate Committee on Sport and Youth Development and Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation & Social Welfare, Sen. Obinna Ogaba and Sen. Malam Wakili respectively for the speedy presentation of the bill before the floor of the Senate in line with an appeal by the Centre to the Senate President, Sen Bukola Saraki on March 3, 2016 and Sen. Obinna Ogba on December 16, 2015 respectively during advocacy visits to the National Assembly for the speedy passage of the bill by the Senate.
The bill contains provisions that would ensure people living with disabilities in Nigeria are protected against discrimination, right to access to public premises, accessibility aids at public building, access to road and side walk, protection at situation of risk and humanitarian emergencies, prohibition of use of persons with disabilities to solicit for alms. Also, the law provided for the right to free education, right to free healthcare, prohibition of segregation, right to work and employment, provision of special communication at hospitals, right to participation in politics, and a National Commission to address complaints of harassment, discrimination and harmful practices against persons with disabilities, amongst others.
We called on the Speaker, House of Representative, Rt. Hon.Yakubu Dogara to take appropriate measure to ensure that the House of Representative passes its own disability bill to enable the constitution of a joint Conference of the National Assembly for the harmonization of the bills passed by both Houses of the National Assembly.
The Centre also gives sincere gratitude to all friends and well wishers of the disability community in Nigeria for their support and solidarity in this struggle to secure a law that would protect Nigerians with disabilities against discrimination and harmful practices. They call for more of support as it is not yet over until President Mohammadu Buhari assents to the bill in line with his campaign promises.
Sen. Senator Francis Alimikhenafor receives accolades for sponsoring this bill at the Senate. Friends from the media, the Clarks of Senate Committee on Sports and Youth Development; and Poverty Alleviation & Social Welfare, Mr. Mohammed Yakubu as well as CCD partners Open Society Initiative West Africa (OSIWA), Justice for All Programme – DfID and the Ford Foundation for the uncommon support, were all commended for their efforts.
Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is an organization of, and for persons with disabilities that works to promote human rights, social inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in development efforts.