Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, has called on governments at all levels to include “Persons with Disabilities” in governance so as to give them equal representation.
The former Anambra State governor who made the call while celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Sunday, also pleaded with Nigerians to support their fellow citizens living with disabilities.
In a statement he posted on his X account, Obi said that legislation mandates that public agencies reserve at least 5 per cent of jobs for such persons.
“I join in demanding a better nation for them as fellow compatriots, living with disabilities not by their making,” Obi wrote.
“Living with a disability should not be a death sentence or society stigmatisation, but should be a platform that calls up the humanity in us as their brothers and sisters.
“Every Nigerian has the potential to contribute to nation-building and we will leave nobody behind in our journey to New Nigeria.
“In our clime where good governance is hard to come by leading to needless hardship, those living with disabilities in our midst feel the pinch more as life becomes more difficult for them.”
Noting a recent WHO statistics which put the number of Nigerians living with disabilities at above 35 million, Obi said:
“Such a significant number of people must be cared for by the government so that they can live their lives in full, and contribute positively to the development of the nation.
“I call on the government to ensure that they have access to healthcare and education, which are not only critical for national development, but will ensure that they thrive and fully explore their potentials.
“Fellow citizens should also break all barriers of discrimination against those living with disabilities. We are all differently gifted.
“This will ensure that they are adequately represented in both governance and the public sector,” he added.
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