[From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia]
Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has expressed happiness over President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of the reworked Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 into law, saying the new bill has accommodated the interest of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the country.
Executive Director of CCD, Mr. David Anyaele, while reacting to the development, described the signing of the electoral bill into law by President Buhari on Friday, 25th February, 2022, as a victory for equal opportunity, inclusion, and promotion of political participation for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria.
It could be recalled that the previous Electoral Act provided that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) MAY make provisions for PWDs during elections in Nigeria, but with the reworked bill recently signed into an Act, this provision has been changed to SHALL, making it mandatory for INEC to take appropriate measure to ensure that citizens with disabilities have unhindered access to electoral process on equal basis with others.
According to a statement by Humphrey Ukeaja of CCD, the Executive Director of the group disclosed that achieving this feat was a huge struggle.
“The signing of this bill was not as smooth and easy, it required collective efforts of civil society organizations, to partner and strive for the struggle, not just only for the survival of our democracy, but for the incorporation of PWDs in the promotion of the democracy of Nigeria,” the statement quoted Anyaele as saying
The Center congratulated Nigeria on this feat and assured that it would continue to fight for the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.