National Assembly gets ultimatum to pass Disability Bill

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 8 December 2017 | 1,395 times

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Physically challenged persons under the aegis of Centre For Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC), have expressed dissatisfaction over delay in the passage of the Disability Bill, demanding that the National Assembly must pass the Bill before the year runs out.

The groups on Thursday gathered at the Unity Fountain, Abuja and later proceeded to the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for an advocacy visit to further establish their stance on the Bill.

The Executive Director of DRAC, Irene Patrick Ogbogu, while making her remarks, said: “It was about time we spoke out and end this nonsense against the disabled persons. We cannot continue to keep quiet because we have been quiet for long. We believe the disability bill is important to everybody and that is why we need to take it serious. Once we are done with this protest, the legislators must begin to ask themselves questions.”

Also speaking, the Executive Director, CCD, Comrade David Anyaele, in his address to the journalists, maintained that there is a need for the groups to ask National Assembly members to push for the bill now before Christmas, stressing further: “Yesterday 6th of December, makes it a year the Bill has been harmonised in the National Assembly. We feel NASS members are ignorant about the situation and that is why we need to open their minds so they can know we are serious about it. In any case, this is just a warning protest.”

David stated further that the Since year 2000, the Bill has been in NASS and has been suffering.

“In 2016, it was harmonised. But later we were told the bill was missing. This is obviously an issue that is considered to be a deliberate neglect of NASS. This stigma and isolation must stop now.

“This is a complete disappointment and abuse from the NASS. This is the most expensive bill. They make budget for it every year and call public hearing on it.

“For disability bill we stand. Our disability bill will not miss. We need it to be passed into law this week. This is what we just want. Failure to do this, we will occupy the NASS in 2018. This is just a public sensitisation,” David added.

They, however, called on the Chairman of the APC to use the power of his office to inform members of NASS to expedite the passage of the Bill for assent by the President.

The groups equally appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to look into their complaints and fulfill the promise made last year concerning the Bill.

Speaking on behalf of the National Chairman of the party, the National Treasurer, Mr. Bala Muhammed Gwagwaruwa said: “APC took this issue right from the time of campaign.”

He, however, assured that the Party would engage the both houses; Senate and House of Reps and the bill will be passed in the shortest possible time.

•Photo shows David while presenting the case of the Disability Bill to the representative of the APC National Chairman at the Party’s Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday

Source: News Express

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