By Leonard Okachie
Umuahia – Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has called on Abia House of Assembly to pass into law a bill that seeks to protect the rights of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the state.
Executive Director, CCD, Mr David Anyaele made the call when the group visited the Assembly complex in Umuahia on Monday, to lobby for the passage of disability law.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the group was received by the Deputy Speaker, Ifeanyi Uchendu.
Anyaele said that the passage of the disability law would checkmate discrimination and other harmful practices against disable people in the state.
He said that there were over 600,000 persons with disabilities in Abia and about 80 per cent live in the rural areas.
He said that the 5th state assembly passed the bill in 2015, but the governor did not assent to it.
”Findings from research shows that there is high level of discrimination and harmful practices against persons with disabilities.
”Also, PWDs are being denied access in democratic governance,” he said.
The executive director said that 10 states that had already passed the law are Lagos, Bauchi, Ekiti, Ondo, Anambra, Kwara, Kano, Kogi, Jigawa and Plateau.
He called for sensitisation for state and non-state actors, civil society groups, policy makers, media and other stakeholders on the rights of PWDs’ participation in democratic governance.
”We request appointment of a special adviser to the governor on disability matters; and the establishment of disability office at the state house of assembly,” he said.
In his response, Uchendu said that the seventh assembly had no plan to discriminate against citizens with disabilities.
He gave assurance to the group that he would take appropriate measures to ensure accelerated legislative process for passage of the bill into law.