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Persons Living With Disabilities are under represented in political positions

Grace Okon
The Chairman Board of Trustees Albino Foundation and Director General Institute for National Transformation, Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, has stated that the World Health Organization  has estimated that between 15 to 20% of citizens has some forms of disabilities challenges as Persons Living with Disabilities made up the world largest minority and they remained the most under represented in the paliament and political parties.
 Prof Anigbogu, made this observation during the Electability Confab 1.0 in Abuja, while emphasising the need for the peaceful environment during the general election to ensure 100% active participation by people with disabilities.
He said “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen it is expected to note that change in social political norms in creating space for historically marginalised and vulnerable persons to fill leadership role in the society is not a small task and this particularly true from PWDs who often faced systematic enduring exclusion and discrimination.”
Prof. Vincent stressed that the discrimination limits  People With Disabilities from engaging in decision that impacted their lives.
“Article 29 of the convention on the right of person with disabilities, addresses participation in political and public lifes, advocates that the government shall guarantee  PWDs political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them in an equal basis.”
The Prof. Further highlighted the political right of the PWDs which  advocacy has helped yield result with the increase in numbers of PWDs registered voters and candidates to 60%.While congratulating  PWDs candidates in various parties, he tagged them  heroes.
He further urged the PWDs candidates to remain a voice to the voiceless, adding that they may not win but there are a strong symbol.
Anigbogu also implored pollitical stakeholders, right defenders and promoters not to relent on their work towards ensuring that every Nigerian citizens enjoy dignity, freedom and justice.
He also commended the government of Nigeria for going as far as protecting the right of the PWDs to vote and be voted for the first time in history.
He reteirated that  the door has been opened  and so PWDs must make themselves electable by building capicity for leadership.
” The capacity to know your right from wrong and also your ethical boundary, secondly, emotional capacity building, thirdly, intellectual capacity building, training and social capacity building, the ability to deal with different cultural background and mental ideaology, and lastly build your physical vitality”, said Prof. Anigbogu.
The Minister of Women Affairs  Dame Patience also said that inclusion is necessary in our national politics, and  called on all Nigerians to stand by those with disabilities because there is so much abilities in disabilities.
 She added that  there are qualified PWDs with doctors, professors and most time they are even better than those without disabilities.
Dame Patience furthermore, called on all Nigerians to vote for credible candidates and not for money.
 “You may have money today for your  nice pot of soup just for one day, but you had to mortgage your children future and your next four years just for a pot of soup and even  put the whole nation in jeopardy.
She appreciated the Albino foundation for organising the meeting and also thank the European Union for their constant support

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