LAGOS – A lawyer, Mr Danlami Basharu, has urged the National Assembly to send the National Disability Bill to President Goodluck Jonathan for assent.
Basharu, a blind, told newsmen in Lagos that the bill would alleviate the sufferings of Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
According to him, when the bill is signed into law it will eradicate discrimination, increase access to education and health for PWDs in the country.
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“The most important thing is that the bill is going to outlaw discrimination.
“This is because Section 42 of the Nigerian Constitution did not make room for outlawing discrimination against persons with disabilities, and we have struggled to put it into that section.
“Then, it will recognise the issue of accessibility of persons with disabilities, people using wheelchairs, blind people using mobility canes and so on.
“So, accessibility will be a very core aspect of the National Disability Bill.
“So that when you are planning, you will have to take into consideration that whatever you are planning will be for the benefits of all Nigerians regardless of their physical status.
“We have areas regarding education, health affecting people with disabilities. They need to be given special consideration.
“Obviously, we need the bill; it is more or less like a saviour for persons with disabilities.’’
He said that the bill, which had been on for about 13 years, went through the National Assembly, but was not assented to by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“No reason was given, and it came back again in 2007; we worked hard with the National Assembly; it was passed but never assented to.
“In 2010, the National Assembly passed it again, but the president did not assent to it and no reason was given.
“And now, it’s back with the assembly and it has also been passed. I think it’s yet to be sent back to the president for his assent,” Basharu said
Basharu is also a member of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.