Persons with Disabilities (PWD) : The need for participation in Development by Prof. Sabitu Olagoke
Disability is yet to be seen as a developmental issue in Nigeria because it is grossly under-represented in legislative processes and outcomes.
Instead, it has become a political weapon of campaign driven by social sympathy rather than empathy in our institutional arranegments.
The Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities(JONAPWD) with many advocayc groups under it has been equally influenced by the usual charity/welfare model approach to disability.
There is a need for all to develop a cultural oreintation of creating a world where the fundamental human rights of persons with disabilities including that of access is guranteed under the law and the need to create awareness on the promotion of creativity for PWDs to strenghten the voice of Persons With Disabilities through advocacy, capacity building and development networking.
This will facitiliate their participation in the political process of the nation.
Records show that some of the PWDs have been actively participating in Voter Education programs-election monitoring and observation.
They also engage in the mobilization of people living with disabilities toward participating in partisan politics through dialogue with political parties as well as in the cause of women realizing the 35 per cent affirnmative action on representation in decision making cadre through political appointments as well as having capacity and support through the elective process into positions of power.