The All Rights Foundation (TAF-Africa) has appealed to the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu to appoint Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) as Ministers in his cabinet to ensure inclusiveness.
Mr Jake Epelle, the Chief Executive Officer, TAF Africa, said this when he visited the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja.
He also urged the governors-elect in states to appoint PWDs and persons with albinism as commissioners in their states and sought the support of PDP toward sensitising the governors-elect on its platform on the need to appoint the PWDs and persons with albinism in their cabinets.
He said that the visit was to intimate the party’s leadership on some of the foundation’s projects which included “the able to serve campaign.”
According to him, “For us the able to serve is geared towards getting the incoming administration, the governors-elect and setting governors to move the needle and go from just the mere appointment of persons with disability as special advisers, special assistants and senior special assistants to at least the position of commissioners.
“At the national level, we are also engaging to ensure that at least one of them get ministerial position. So, able to serve is specifically tailored to advocate for that,” he said.
Epelle said that the foundation was also working on plans to train those without skills with skills they needed for them to function in both public office and how to carry themselves.
“Thirdly, we will also create a forum where they are properly mentored and tutored and they themselves will become mentors of other people.”
He said that the foundation would need the support of PDP leaders to speak with those governors-elect and others elected into various elective offices to consider persons with albinism and PWDs for appointment into key positions.
Epelle said that the foundation also came to appreciate PDP for producing the first person with albinism as a governor not only in Nigeria but Africa. Mr Umo Eno, the Akwa Ibom governor-elect is an albino.
“We must continue to work together. We need you to succeed as much as you need us to succeed. We have produced a lot of frameworks. One of them is the disability inclusion of political parties. PDP contributed to that document and in the next couple of months we will produce that document and disseminate it,” he said.
The PDP Acting National Chairman, Mr Umar Damagum assured the foundation that the PDP would continue to ensure inclusiveness in all its endeavours. He urged the PWDs to feel free to join PDP to pursue their political aspirations.
“About 14 years ago our party created a board for people with disability. Today we have a desk with the office of the woman leader. Though we have done a lot, but we can still do more. The PWD should feel free to join the PDP because it is in PDP they can achieve their aspirations We have a desk that can take care of that and as you come up to partner with us we can collaborate,” Damagum said.
The PDP Deputy National Secretary, Mr Setonji Koshoedo, said the issue of inclusivity was already taken care of by PDP constitution.