ZLP tasks PWDs on active participation in politics

By Sarafina Christopher
The Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) has appealed to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to participate actively in politics and governance in order to promote their rights.

Mrs Chinyere Kalu, the National Women Leader ZLP, stated this in an interview with the news Agency of Nigeria , on a sideline of an advocacy visit of Gender Strategy Advancement International (GSAI).

Kalu said that the involvement of PWDs in the governance was very important to combat discrimination and abuse, counter prejudice, protect their rights and ensure their inclusion in all facets of life on an equal basis with other people.

She said that there was provision for PWDs Desk in all party offices nationwide but none was willing to come to the office and actively participate in meetings and other activities that would foster inclusivity.

“We have about 31 million people with disabilities in Nigeria and our policy mandate is to give visibility to women with Disabilities because we don’t see them as being disabled, but it is challenging because they have refused to make themselves available.

“We have assured them of free nomination to run for offices not because of sympathy but simply because we appreciate their intelligence and nothing of any sort should pose as limitations to them.

“The person in charge of the office in our party is a woman with a disability and I always encourage her to create activities that will promote active participation but for the past four years she hasn’t done that.

“We’ve been making conscious efforts to make provisions for accessibility in meeting halls among others to ensure full inclusion but to no avail,” she said.

Kalu appealed to PWDs to take a step that wss beyond just advocating for inclusion and be actively engaged so that the implementation of the disability act would be made possible through collective efforts.

“We sincerely want to ensure the effective inclusion of PWD through the provision of adequate systems, structures, materials and processes that accommodate PWDs’ access to and participation in public life on an equal basis with other citizens,
“Our party is open and ready to welcome your participation so that we can make the changes we’ve been advocating for,”she said.

In her remarks, Ms Grace Ubeh, the Communications Officer, GSAI, expressed appreciation to Kalu for encouraging inclusivity for PWDs to actively participate in politics.

Ubeh said that GSAI plans to carry out a three-month project tagged, “Gender Advocacy and Inclusion in Nigeria (GAIN) among other projects to ensure PWDs participation in governance.

“We want to also assure you that as a CSOs, we will ensure that we keep advocating and providing the necessary solutions until we see changes,” she said.

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