Yakubu Dogara House of Rep. set to pass People with Disability Bill, says Speaker

Dogara gave the assurance when he received a delegation from Kpankpando Foundation for Persons Living with Disabilities in his office on Wednesday in Abuja.

  • Published:
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has promised that the House would  give expeditious passage to the People With Disabilities Bill before it within the next few days.

Dogara gave the assurance when he received a delegation from Kpankpando Foundation for Persons Living with Disabilities in his office on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Speaker said it was unjust for about 25 million Nigerians living with disabilities to be excluded from enjoying the dividends of democracy.

He said the lawmakers were committed to passing laws that would enable the All Progressives Congress (APC) to implement its electoral promises including ensuring that people with disabilities enjoy good governance.

Dogara explained that the bill had been passed by the House of Representatives since June 9, 2016, while the Senate did same on July 13, 2017 with a conference committee set up to address areas of differences in the two versions of the bill by the two chambers on Sept. 22, 2017.

Pledging that the bill might be passed on March 15, he said:“It will be listed on the agenda of the House by tomorrow and once that is done, you can be sure that it will mark the end of the journey of that bill in the National Assembly.

“Except if the President declines assent to the bill that is when it will come back to the House. But hopefully, it will address the issue once and for all.

“We are all aware that the welfare and security of our citizens are the primary responsibility of the government.

“I was a bit taken aback when the chairman of the board of trustees of the foundation, Sen. Osita Izunaso, mentioned that we have  within our borders about 23 million Nigerians living with disabilities.

“I thought the number was far less. As a matter of fact, he said the number may have grown to 25 million and that is because disabilities can occur at any stage in someone’s life.”

Dogara added:“It may be caused by an accident or anything that can lead to disabilities and that is why, I believe the manifesto of the APC, the party that we belong to, clearly articulates the interests of the disabled.

“The party also promised that we will bring them to the fore by providing an enabling environment that guarantees them to succeed and if we have a system that excludes 25 million of our citizens, you can now begin to imagine the injustice to our citizens.

“We are alive to our responsibilities as representatives of the people and their interest is also utmost as well.’’

He urged the disabled in Nigeria not to see themselves as being limited by their physical disabilities, saying it does not stop the talent or potential in them.

Earlier, Izunaso,  the founder and chairman of the foundation, appealed to the Speaker to ensure a speedy passage of the bill to enable the disabled in Nigeria exercise their rights, especially by participating in the 2019 general elections.

Osita urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to come out with plans for persons with disability to vote during the forthcoming elections.

He also commended the APC-led federal government for making provisions for persons with disabilities in the country.

Also, Mrs Pat John-Oseh, Executive Director, Kpakpando Foundation, said the bill should be passed to enable persons with disabilities to have their own commission like the National Commission for Women Affairs and Youths.

She said it would be in line with the global Conference for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of which Nigeria is a signatory.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.