Thursday, January 28, 2016

President Mohammed Buhari (PMB) vs Disability Bills (DB)

There was a little drama during the last administration; there were a lot of struggles by people with disabilities, parents and friends of people with disabilities. We the disability advocates, human activists, lawyers, etc fought for the Disability Bills (DB) to be assented and in the National Assembly the senators also did us well by reading and passing the Disability Bills (DB)  to the table of the former President of Nigeria Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ), then our hope was up, some even went on to fast and pray for GEJ to finally assent the Disability Bills (DB), then the general election was approaching, some believed that he will assent the Disability Bills (DB)  before the commencement of the general election, some persons with disabilities even did the campaign for GEJ and helped in other areas but what happened? He didn’t assent, then after the elections, some persons with disabilities had faith that he will assent the Disability Bills (DB) before the power handover and then one day before the power handover to President Mohammed Buhari (PMB)’s administration, GEJ hurriedly passed six bills into law though some bills was left out but guess what again? Sadly amongst the bills left out was the Disability Bills (DB). We, persons with disabilities were disappointed, sad, depressed, angry and upset, just all kind of emotions you can imagine.

Now let’s go back to the last administration, during the campaign, we had some very strong Deaf supporters for (PMB), not only Deaf but persons with disabilities. They were supporting and campaigning for PMB at every corner and the “CHANGE” finally conquered, PMB won. GEJ phoned PMB to congratulate him, All Progressive Congress (APC) supporters were dancing, celebrating and felicitating, Nigerians in general congratulated and celebrated with him. Then the struggle is back to square one again, we are back to advocate and promote the rights of persons with disabilities, we are back to educate politicians, senators, lawmakers, Nigerians etc about the need to assent the bills to safeguard and advance the rights of Nigerians with disabilities, etc.

The good news now is that PMB is disability friendly and the Disability Bills (DB) has been passed for the 2nd reading at the National Assembly. I want to assure persons with disabilities and Nigerians generally that passing the bills to the table of the president is not a problem as some senators have assured us that they will ensure our Disability Bills (DB) will get to the table, because if the bills has been passed for 2nd reading, then it means the bills is very good and ready to go. All what we should pray for now is for PMB to finally sign or assent the bills when it gets to him.

Sorry to draw you back to the last administration, after the election PMB clearly won, to the best of my knowledge, some Deaf supporters called on PMB to remember us by assenting the Disability Bills (DB) and he assured us that he won’t forget us during his administration. For now the Disability Bills (DB) is still on course, we are still advocating and campaigning for Disability Bills (DB), it is yet to get to the table of President. We are hoping that PMB will put a smile on our face when the bills get to his table and he signs it into law finally. If he does, he will be the first president to assent the bills and he will be remembered forever by persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

At this moment, lets all join our hands to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. The struggles continue. CIAO!!

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