The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has promised that President Goodluck Jonathan would sign into law the Disability Bill passed by the current National Assembly.
He stated this in a statement by his media aide, Michael Jegede, in Abuja.
The bill is titled “A Bill for An Bill for an Act to ensure full integration of Persons with Disability into the Society,”
The General Assembly of the United Nations declared December 3 every year as the International Day of Disabled Persons.
Mr. Abatemi-Usman, who sponsored the Senate version of the disability bill, said Mr. Jonathan had shown much concern about the wellbeing of the disabled people and that he was optimistic that the president would have no option other than to give his assent to the bill, because of the benefits it would confer on the over 22 million Nigerians living with one form of disability or the other.
“Though, Mr. President fails to sign the bill after it was passed by the sixth National Assembly, I am confident that he would not hesitate to give his assent this time around,” he said.
“It is clear that Mr. President is very much concerned about the welfare of the disabled persons as part of his transformation agenda. The only way he can further show his commitment towards addressing the plight of these people who are disabled by sheer providence or accident is to sign the disability bill into law.”
Mr. Abatemi-Usman said it had become imperative for Nigeria as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on rights of persons with disabilities to have a legal framework/legislation in place that would prohibit discrimination against the disabled and ensure their full integration into the society.
The lawmaker, who represents Kogi Central Senatorial District, saluted the courage of persons living with disabilities all over the world and demanded support for their rights, dignity and welfare.
“I salute all persons living with disabilities across the globe on this very special day set aside by the United Nations to encourage them, discuss issues affecting them and how their rights can be protected and life made comfortable for them,” he said.
“We must continue to encourage this set of people in the society and give them the sense of belonging as citizens. This is why it is important for President Goodluck Jonathan to, as a matter of necessity, sign the bill on disability the moment it gets to his desk without the slightest delay.”