Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) voiced their disappointment on Tuesday regarding their omission from the ministerial list submitted by President Bola Tinubu to the Senate.
On Monday, the Senate granted approval and confirmed 45 out of the 48 nominees presented by the President.
During a joint conference, the Community of PWDs lamented that their absence contradicted the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Prohibition Act of 2018, which stipulates the inclusion of at least five percent of PWDs in public office appointments.
The community stated, “The recent ministerial list proposed by President Bola Tinubu has unfortunately overlooked the integral role that the PWDs can and should play in Nigeria’s governance.”
They added, “The current lack of representation in the Federal Executive Council marks a missed opportunity to advance equality and justice for persons with disabilities in Nigeria. Regrettably, despite this concerted effort and appeal, the new cabinet list presented to the Senate for screening and approval includes no ministers identifying as Persons with Disabilities.”
The community emphasized that the absence of PWDs from the new cabinet list dashed the hopes of various PWD organizations, as well as political leaders and the international community.
In light of this, the community called for the enforcement of Section 29 of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act of 2018. This section mandates a minimum of a five percent appointment quota for PWDs at all levels of government, including states.
Furthermore, they urged the inclusion of PWDs in decision-making processes related to policies that directly or indirectly impact them, such as the palliative committee on subsidy removal.