By: Abayomi Adeshida, ABUJA
The possibility of Nigeria to reap the full benefits of the in-coming Joe Biden Presidency in the United States of America would be based on the ability of the Nigerian Government to always interface with the American leadership on all-inclusive policies that would not discriminate against anyone, especially Nigerians living with disabilities.
The President Equal Rights for People with Disabilities International Incorporation, Chief Eric Ufom who told Vanguard from his base in Texas said that his claims were premised on his past work experience with Mr. Biden as the American Vice President under President Barak Obama during many advocacy meetings where Mr. Biden championed the efforts of the United States of America to help Nigeria to domesticate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People Living with Disabilities.
According to Chief Ufom. “the experience he brought to bare during that period was a very transparent demonstration of his willingness of a world leader to work with everyone without any form of discrimination against anyone.
“He made sincere contributions and was very instrumental to us at many points where we needed him to help us to get to the next stage of the process.
“You can measure the outcome of his efforts through its eventual outcome with the recent establishment of the People With Disabilities Commission in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“What you just saw with the signing of the bill that established the Commission was the outcome of over two decades of dedicated efforts of many stakeholders within and outside the country.
“And I think this is the right time to give credit to the President-Elect of the United States of America, Mr. Joe Biden who served selflessly at the time he was required to guide us through the steps we needed to take to domesticate the United Nations Treaty on the Rights of People Living with Disabilities which Nigerian signed under the President Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency.
“Under President Biden, I foresee a robust relationship which would make Nigeria witness developmental strides in leaps and bounds.
“I do not expect to have an American Government under him to deliberately impose some policies that would inhibit Nigeria or any nation for that matter that is ready to hold his hands and grow.
“If you recall his first address after he was declared the winner of the lawful votes to be the 46th President of the United States of America, he promised to run an all inclusive government that would also engage in bilateral and multilateral relationships that would make America win back its friends and allies.
“If Nigeria can take advantage of this new relationship, the entire country would surely experience the benefits of the friendship.
“However, let me warn here that it is also possible that we lose the opportunity provided by this new relationship again if we continue to practice discriminatory policies that would lead the country nowhere.
“While we await his inauguration on January 20th, 2021, we should also be ready with our own people who already had established relationships with the Americans in many areas so that we can build on existing relationships while we look out for new ones.
“We would then witness visible developmental strides across the country in all facets, especially, we would witness the measurable and glaring contributions of Nigerians Living with Disabilities to nation-building.