June 12th Democracy Day: Philanthropist urges Federal and State Governments to prioritise Persons Living with Disabilities

Philanthropist, Civil Rights Activist and Executive Director of Beautiful Gate Handicapped Peoples Center Jos, Chief Ayuba Burki Gufwan has called on the Federal and State Governments in Nigeria to prioritise the interests of persons living with disabilities in their policies and programs. This according to him will give them a sense of belonging as bona-fide citizens of the country.

This was contained in a statement issued by Executive Director of the Beautiful Gate Handicapped People Center Jos (an NGO which has cattered for the need with persons living with disabilities) Chief Ayuba Burki Gufwan on Wednesday in Jos, to commemorate the June 12th 2024 Democracy Day Celebration.

While congratulating President Tinubu and the Governors of the 36 States of the Federation on 25 Years of uninterrupted Democracy in the country, Chief Burki urged them to make the interests of persons living with disabilities a priority, especially in the processes of budgeting and implementation of government programs, adding that so far persons living with disabilities have not been carried along sufficiently in the scheme of things.

Part of the statement adds “While i commend and congratulate the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, and the Governors of the 36 States of the Federation on the occassion of the June 12th 2024 Democracy Day Celebration, it is important to bring to their attention the deplorable living conditions of persons living with disabilities across the nation. These persons in their millions across the country who have actively participated in the democratic process are yet to feel the impact of this administration.”

“There seems to be a systematic national silencing of the plights of persons living with disabilities. Even in budgeting, budget and programs implementation, there are no delibrate actions to carry persons living with disabilities along. This calls for deliberate actions in making sure that this sad story changes for the better.”

Chief Burki also called for the domestication, proper operationalization and strict enforcement of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act across the country in order to protect the rights of persons with disabilities and guarantee that such rights are not violated. He also called for the swift prosecution of violators to serve as deterrence.

“It is public knowledge that the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act has been in operation for years in Nigeria. However, persons living with disabilities are yet to sufficiently feel the impact of the law and the structures created.”

“Even the few states that have domesticated the law are yet to ensure full compliance and enforcement to the level that who are potential beneficiaries of the law get the desired attention they deserve. This calls for action on the part of the federal and state governments to ensure that persons living with disabilities get the desired attention as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He called on all stakeholders and the general public to support persons living with disabilities to achieve their God-given potentials, adding that they are also human beings with rights. He urged them to support persons with disabilities earn a living rather that pity them.

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June 12th Democracy Day: Philanthropist urges Federal and State Governments to prioritise Persons Living with Disabilities

About The Author
- Studied Mass Communication from the University of Jos. He is a Media Consultant, Journalist, a blogger, public relations practitioner and an advocate for social justice.