Presidential Aspirants Advised To Woo 25m Disabled

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An international non-governmental organization that works with partners in developing countries to treat and prevent avoidable blindness, Sightsavers, says Nigeria has about 25 million people living with disability.

The country representative of the NGO, Ghana-Nigeria, Sunday Isiyaku, disclosed this in Jos yesterday at a two-day capacity building workshop for leaders of community development associations, organised by the Plateau State Human Rights Commission and Australian Aid.

He advised those aspiring to be president of Nigeria in 2019 to target the 25 million people “living with disability” for votes.

He also urged governments at all levels to give people living with disabilities equal rights.

He said: “In Nigeria, it is estimated that there are about 25 million people living with disability, the population of Ghana is estimated as 25 million, not talking of Liberia with 4 million people, or Sierra Leone with 6 million people.

“It means people living with disabilities in Nigeria can form a country, and it is not good for us to ignore them or to fold our arms without doing anything to better their lives.

“If I were a politician that wants to be president, I would focus on those 25 million people living with disability in Nigeria because, if my memory is right, no president of Nigeria has got 25 million votes.”

Isiyaku also urged all stakeholders in Nigeria to promote equality for people with visual impairments and other disabilities.

Governor Simon Bako Lalong said the workshop would rekindle and boost citizens’ morale to further seek ways to foster harmonious coexistence in the communities.

Lalong, represented by his Special Adviser on Non-governmental Affairs, Irmiya Werr, also urged the people of Plateau to conduct themselves with decorum during the forthcoming local government elections.