A coalition of non-governmental organisations has formed a think-tank group that will push the federal government to see the need to adopt the continental disability law.
This was in view of the fact that about six countries have already ratified the Africa Disability Protocols (ADPs) across the continent.
Speaking at a virtual second round-table meeting on the ADP Ratification for Nigeria, the Community Development Manager, Special Needs Initiative for Growth, Racheal Inegbedion, said if Nigeria ratifies the ADP, it would clear the path for the country to be able to provide the right social and economic provision for persons with disabilities (PWD).
However, speaking on the impact of the Covid-19 on PWDs, she said there was a need to strategise on the way forward to make government ratify the protocol, adding that, “because we believe that if Nigeria starts other African countries will follow suit. If we have a quota of 25 countries that have ratified, then we’re good to go.”
She added: “But, however, unless our continent, which is Africa sufficiently addresses the underlying structural and socio-economic causes that compound the exclusion of PWD and the perennial exclusion of disability issues and programs and projects, then our aspiration to have the ADP ratified in Nigeria is likely to be impeded.
“Now, we are talking about Nigeria, which is the focal point; we need to ratify and fully implement in a timely way, the protocol to the African Charter on human and people’s rights on the rights of persons with a disability, also known as the ADPs.”
Commenting, the CEO, Africa Disability Alliance, Mr. Kudakwashe Dube, said he was pleased seeing Nigeria at the forefront of the advocacy process that would lead other countries towards taking action about ratifying and domesticating the ADPs under the convention on the right of a person with disabilities.
“Nigerian government was at the forefront of promoting the adoption of the Africa disability protocols, they fully understand its significance in terms of promoting the rights of people with disabilities. So all we are doing is to support that political and putting on the ground, techniques, and advocacy strategies.”
Moving forward, however, the local organising committee (LOC) came up with technical and legal, policy and advocacy, fundraising, media and publicity think-tank group that would interface with various public-private organisation aimed at ensuring effective streaming of disability issues in all sectors and programs of government had in attendance.
In her remark, the Chair, Africa Down Syndrome Network and Convener Mrs. Rose Mordi, stressed the need for all African countries to adopt and ratify the African protocol.
The effort came after a two-day virtual conference that brought together key stakeholders in Africa, where stakeholders urged Nigerian and other African governments to adopt and ratifying the Africa Disability Protocol (ADP).