For persons living with disability, life, they say, has not been easy, especially when they feel the government is not doing enough to tackle their plight.
This was why a disability group, under the auspices of Cedar Seed Foundation, took to the street of Abuja to mark the International Day of Persons with Disability and also ask leaders of the eighth National Assembly to hasten the passage of the Disability Bill.
This year’s celebration is themed Achieving 17 SDGs Goals for the future we want according to the founder of Cedar Seed Foundation, the disabled have been treated as second-class citizens for too long, left behind from development agenda for too long, and denied their rights.
Her words: “Enough is enough of all these discrimination, exclusion, marginalisation, stigmatisation, gender-based violence, unemployment, inaccessibility, illiteracy, etc. “We are tired of the charity model and we implore everyone to support disabled persons or partner with disabled organisations, to join the cause of advocating the rights of disabled persons using the right channels and make things happen for these great people on earth.
“The International Day for Persons with Disabilities is being marked and this represents an avenue to celebrate the achievements of persons with disabilities, while asking everyone to get involved in the development agenda for persons with disabilities.
“We have the potentials and abilities; all we are asking for is opportunities and support, and we will deliver our jobs exceedingly well. If given the opportunity, we will be the best presidents, governors, ministers, ambassadors, engineers, pilots, doctors, journalists, administrators, architects, clergy, innovators, artists, musicians, politicians, economists, developers, etc. All we are asking for is empowerment.
“The United Nations Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities is calling on everyone to help realise the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the lives of the disabled people, by making every agenda inclusive and enable them have their full participation and enjoy equal opportunities.
“We urge leaders of the eighth session of the National Assembly to ensure that the Disability Bill is attended to as fast as possible so that the President can assent to it.
“The organisations of and for Persons with Disabilities should increase their advocacy and engagement with critical and relevant stakeholders. The media should continue to support us with reports on disability issues. State and none-state parties should support quick passage of the disability bill campaign to help Nigeria achieve the SDGs on or before 2030.”