27.3 million Nigerians living with disabilities


Jethro Ibileke/Benin

The President of Network for the Advancement of People with Disabilities, Melody Omosah, said no fewer than 27.3 million Nigerians live with various forms of disabilities.

Omosah, who disclosed this in Benin on Monday, charged the federal government and international communities to make provisions for persons with disabilities living all IDP camps.

He gave the charge while addressing journalists in Benin, in conjunction with the 2018 International day for persons with disabilities.

The 2018 PLWD celebration has the theme; “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”

Omosah said the theme focused on empowering persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and balanced development envisaged in the 2030 ‘Leave none behind.’

He called for enactment of a law to provide for the spectrum of rights of persons with disabilities.

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“It is sad that 18 years after Nigeria returns to democratic state, lack of legislation at the national level for persons with disabilities, is their daily reality,” he said.

Omosah also called for the establishment of a policy for persons with disabilities, prioritization of free, compulsory and quality education for children with disabilities.

He called for the abolition of tuition and levies by students with disabilities, and employment of sign language interpreter in all federal and states owned television stations to transmit news.

“I call on the independent national electoral Commission (INEC), to take proactive and pragmatic steps to make 2019 general elections more accessible to and inclusive of persons with disabilities,” he added.

December 3 has been observed annually as United Nations international day for persons with disabilities since 1992.

Earlier, Omosah donated several items, including drugs and equipment to aid the movement of persons with disabilities living at the IDP camp, Ogua, Benin.