2022 Summit: Lalu task religious, traditional rulers on leadership position for PWDs




The National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPWD), has tasked religious and traditional rulers in Nigeria for adequate representation and inclusion of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in traditional and religious organizations.

The Commission, emphasized on the needs for PWDs to be recognised as clergy men and Incorporated in cabinets of traditional institutions to boost disability inclusion.

The Executive Secretary of the
Commission, James David Lalu, made the demand in Abuja on Wednesday, during the National Summit on ”Disability Inclusion for Religious and Traditional Rulers” in Nigeria.

Responding to the demand, the Sultan of Sokoto, and the head of the Nigerian National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, who assured his commitment to work with the commission until all their needs are met, pledged to facilitate the implementation of the PWDs policies to federal level.

Also speaking at the event, is the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Daniel okoh, who
assured the approval of positions for PWDs in religious organisation, also appealed to State governments to enforce laws that would bring an end to stigma and discrimination against persons with special needs.

On her part, the country advocacy coordinator for Sight Savers, Esther Bature, urged the traditional and religious leaders to support in advocating to the various levels of government in the country to implement the disability law.

Bature, explained that “the demands for the leadership position in religious and traditional organisation would help reach a wider audience and people will be more accepting because it’s coming from their rulers. And also this is the time for us to shift from the charity model to the human rights model in addressing issues around disability inclusion.”

The National Summit which is the second in the series by the Commission on fostering Disability Inclusion, was declared open by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the State House Chaplain, senior special assistant to the president, Pastor Joseph Oluseyi Malomo.

Some of the dignitary in attendance is the
the former CAN president and former Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, both emphasized the need for an all inclusive Society.

NCPWD which oversees the affairs of over 30 million PWDs in the country was established in 2020 by President Mohammadu Buhari, under the supervision of the ministry of Humanitarian,Disaster Management and Social Development, with the mandate to enhance inclusiveness of PWDs to enable them contribute their quota to national development.