The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman has expressed confidence that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will this time around sign into law the disability bill which has been passed by the two arms of the seventh National Assembly.
Abatemi-Usman gave the assurance in a statement issued in Abuja by Michael Jegede, his Special Assistant on media and publicity, to salute the courage of persons living with disabilities all over the world on this special day (December 3), set aside to celebrate them and seek support for their rights, dignity and welfare.
The Senator who sponsored the Senate version of the disability bill, said President Jonathan has shown much concern about the wellbeing of the disabled people, noting that he is optimistic he (Jonathan) would have no option other than to give his assent to the bill, for what it holds for the over 22 million Nigerians living with one form of disability or the other.
He observed that it has become imperative for Nigeria as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on rights of persons with disabilities to have a legal framework/legislation in place that will prohibit discrimination against the disabled and ensure their full integration into the society.
“I salute all persons living with disabilities across the globe on this very special day set aside by the United Nations to encourage them, discuss issues affecting them and how their rights can be protected and life made comfortable for them. We must continue to encourage this set of people in the society and give them the sense of belonging as citizens. This is why it is important for President Goodluck Jonathan to, as a matter of necessity, sign the bill on disability the moment it gets to his desk without the slightest delay,” Abatemi-Usman said.
Continuing, he added: “Though, Mr. President fails to sign the bill after it was passed by the sixth National Assembly, I am confident that he would not hesitate to give his assent this time around. It is clear that Mr. President is very much concerned about the welfare of the disabled persons as part of his transformation agenda. The only way he can further show his commitment towards addressing the plight of these people who are disabled by sheer providence or accident is to sign the disability bill into law.”
December 3 was declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations as the International Day of Disabled Persons in 1992. The theme for this year is: “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology” and its focus is on the role of technology in Disaster risk reduction and emergency responses; Creating enabling working environments and Disability-inclusive sustainable development goals.