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Group applauds NASS, Buhari for emergence of disability law





- President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, January 23 signed into law the discrimination against persons with disabilities prohibition act, 2018

-The act prohibits all forms of discrimination on ground of disability and imposes fine of N1, 000, 000 for corporate bodies

- The Disability Rights Advocacy Center (DRAC) has hailed the president and the National Assembly for their roles in the process

The Disability Rights Advocacy Center (DRAC) has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly for the signing into law, the Discrimination Against Persons with disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.

DRAC, in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Thursday, January 24 by its executive director, Irene Ojiugo Patrick-Ogbogu, stated that the action of the president, “marks a truly important day for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the disability community in particular.”

“A day where the value and dignity of persons with disabilities have been upheld. A day where we have come together as a country and said we will no longer accept a culture of discrimination and unrestrained exclusion of persons with disabilities, often targeting our most vulnerable.

“And, a day where the tireless work of all those who have been advocating for the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act can finally be celebrated,” she added.

“DRAC would like to extend a warm and generous thank you to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and to all our donor agencies that helped us get here today. Together, we have ensured a brighter and safer future for our country Nigeria,” Patrick-Ogbogu stated.

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Legit.ng had earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, January 23 signed into law the discrimination against persons with disabilities prohibition act, 2018.

The Act prohibits all forms of discrimination on ground of disability and imposes prison terms and/or fines for corporate bodies and individuals for violations.

It guarantees right to maintain civil action for damage by the person injured against any defaulter.

It also provides for a transitional period within which public buildings, structures or automobile are to be modified to be accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, including those on wheelchairs.

The Act further prohibits discrimination in public transportation facilities and service providers are to make provision for the physically, visually and hearing impaired and all persons howsoever challenged. This applies to seaports, railways and airport facilities.

Other rights rights and privileges contained in the Act include education, healthcare, priority in accommodation and emergencies as well as a National Commission for Persons with Disabilities to monitor compliance and promote welfare of all persons with disabilities.

Patrick-Ogbogu noted that, “having this legislation in place is an important first step in protecting Persons with Disabilities but it is only one part of the process.”

She continued: “The crux of the matter is that moving forward, we must make sure that our government and her agencies have the resources they need to effectively and efficiently manage cases of discrimination meted against persons with disabilities.

“We must empower our Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) and other Civil Society Organizations to provide critical support that will both prevent and respond to issues affecting persons with disabilities.

“We must take rigorous steps towards genuinely implementing our national, regional and international obligations that reinforce our commitment to protecting persons with disabilities.

“We must all work together to change the harmful attitudes and norms that for too long have allowed this kind of discrimination to consume our nation.”

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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