A group representing persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria has decried their exclusion from the latest ministerial list proposed by President Bola Tinubu.
The Senate on Monday approved and confirmed 45 out of the 48 nominees sent by President Tinubu. However, none of the nominees are PWDs.
The PWDs group, known as the Community of Persons with Disabilities, said the exclusion was a violation of the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Prohibition Act, 2018, which calls for the inclusion of at least five per cent of PWDs in public office appointments. “The recent ministerial list proposed by President Bola Tinubu has unfortunately overlooked the integral role that PWDs can and should play in Nigerian governance,” the group said in a statement. “The current lack of representation in the Federal Executive Council marks a missed opportunity to advance equality and justice for persons with disabilities in Nigeria. “The group said the exclusion of PWDs from the cabinet list was “deflating” and “disappointing”. “It deflates the hope and anticipation fostered by several organisations of PWDs, alongside other political leaders and international community,” the group said. The group called on President Tinubu to reconsider his decision and appoint at least five PWDs to the cabinet. It also called on the government to enforce the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act and to include PWDs in decision-making processes that affect them.
The exclusion of PWDs from the cabinet list is a setback for the Nigerian government’s efforts to promote inclusion and equality for all citizens. It is also a missed opportunity to tap into the skills and expertise of PWDs, who can make a valuable contribution to the government.