NGO trains security agencies, judicial officers on PWDs Rights Protection

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Olusegun Obisanya

Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD) has embarked on sensitisation of critical stakeholders on the protection of rights of people with disabilities.

Key stakeholders at the training included judicial officers, representatives of the Nigeria Police, Lagos Command, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, the media among others.

The training was sparked by observed series of alleged brutalization of the physically challenged by security agencies in some parts of the country, particularly Lagos, which the NGO noted must be curbed.

Finance and Admin Manager, Centre for Citizens with Disability, Florence Austin stated this in her opening address at the one day training in Lagos recently.

She said, “We are having a day training for security formation and for disability rights for persons with disabilities. The objective of the training is to enhance the security formation on disability rights and the effect of shrinking civic space on persons with disability in Lagos State.

“We also engage the judiciary on promotion of its role as a duty bearer on persons with disability inclusiveness in the civic place in Lagos State. The training was borne out of the treatment meted out to PWDs by the Police during their peaceful protest as a result of perceived injustice when their names were allegedly excluded from participating in the last international Olympic games.”

Assistant Director, Ministry of Justice,  Lagos State, Bada Emmanuel Oladipupo disclosed that Lagos State government has been in the vanguard position in pushing forward the paradigm of justice making sure that the state remains a pacesetter in inclusive matters. It is the first State in Nigeria to establish the office of disability, which has attracted attention from other States.

He added that Lagos government is doing a lot to promote the rights of PWDs in the State.

One of the trainers, Tosin Aniramu recommended that the National Disability Act should be enforced so that the physically challenged can begin to enjoy their rights in the society as the laws stipulate.

Having enumerated various ways by which people can acquire disability such as accident as a result of bad roads, social violence, Aniramu called on government to spend more on infrastructure by constructing motorable roads, improve healthcare system and reduce violence rate in the society to minimize the risk of citizens acquiring disability.

The non-governmental organisation noted that the extant laws which protect the rights of the physically challenged should be respected in the society and they should be treated on equal basis as other able-bodied Nigerians.

Owing to the observed and growing shrinking civic space for the PWDs, the NGO noted that there is urgent need to sensitise the security agencies, justice providers on the laws that protect the rights of the disabilities be it peaceful protest or demanding for their rights as long as it doesn’t infringe on the peace in society, they should be respected.

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