By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Physically challenged Nigerians, under the aegis of Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disability (JONAPWD), on Monday, threatened to vote against politicians opposed to the signing of the Disability Bill into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, JONAPWD President, Judith Umoh, said the association was prepared to mobilise its 27 million membership strength against such politicians in the forthcoming general elections.
Recall that the clamour for the enactment of a law to alleviate the plights of PLWDs began with the sponsorship of the Disability Bill 18 years ago, precisely in the year 2000.
Several attempts made by successive administrations in Nigeria to sign the Bill into law had failed. But the proposed law received a fresh attention in 2015 after President Buhari assumed office.
Umoh, who wondered why the President’s interest in the issues affecting the group waned over time, said: “At the inception of his (Buhari) administration, he had told us he would assent the Disability Bill within his first 100 days in office. How come his interest level has gone down?
“We are over 27 million persons with disabilities and that makes a lot of sense politically. Before now, we had mobilised our members massively to register and get their PVCs. So, we are going to use our numerical strength to engage in direct action against those opposed to the assenting of the Bill.
“No matter how imperfect the document is, we want it signed into law to protect our interests. We’ll give them a last chance to see of they will do the right thing.”
Some details in the revised Bill included criminalizing any form of discrimination against PWDs and ensuring promotion of public awareness on their rights, making