Press Release

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PRESS RELEASE

Lagos, Nigeria

December 3, 2021

IDPD: IMS seeks better deals for PWDs in all spheres

The Institute for Media and Society, IMS, joins other citizens in the International Day of People with Disabilities to call for improvement in the lot of PWDs, including the enabling environment for active participation in democratic governance and other facets of life in Nigeria.

It is instructive to note that the celebration of this year’s event coincides with the renewed advocacy for inclusion in every facet of life: be it politics, economy, sports and so on.

We are aware that some progress has been made in recent years on addressing disability inclusion in our country. For example, the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 was enacted and a Commission established for its implementation. The election management body, INEC, has also been putting measures in place to provide appropriate participation space for PWDs in the electoral process.

However, we are worried that much is still to be done in the process of building a disability-inclusive society. After the passage of the federal disability legislation, very few state governments have followed up to enact the law in their states. Some among the ones that have enacted such laws are merely paying lip service to implementation.

The response to the expectation of the disability inclusion laws by government agencies has not been encouraging. Agencies have been lethargic in, for example, the recruitment of PWDs into their workforce and provision of disability-friendly facilities in offices and other work places.

What of the political parties? Their structures and processes are not providing appropriate space for participation and visibility for PWDs. Today, PWDs are rarely able to participate actively or access elective positions within the party structures or as their candidates in elections at the various tiers of governance.

All of these must change.

We therefore urge:

  1. The federal government to re-energise its implementation of the disability law while state governments should all enact the law in their states and ensure rigorous implementation.
  2. Political parties to retain slots for PWDs in their various governance organs and nominees for election positions from the ward to the national level.
  3. Election management bodies (INEC and the SIECs) to continue to improve on their framework and operational measures to enhance the participation of the PWDs in the electoral process.
  4. The media to promote, in a vigorous manner, the participation of the PWDs in the electoral and broader governance processes.
  5. PWDs to remain unrelenting in the advocacy for their rights.

 

 

Dr Akin Akingbulu

Executive Director

Institute for Media and Society (IMS)

 

 

For further information contact:

Olusegun Samuel

Communication Officer

+234 8036699535

segun@imesoimeso.org