The chairman, House committee on disabilities, Princess Miriam Onuoha, has urged the Nigerian Army to recruit Persons With Disabilities (PWD) into its fold, stating that no government agencies is exempted from implementing the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability Act.
The lawmaker made the call on Friday in Abuja, during a one day round table organized by the INCLUSION magazine and The Albinism Foundation.
The programme had as its theme, “Confronting the challenges of the safety of persons with albinism”.
Onuoha while responding to statements by the Nigerian Army on why persons with disabilities are exempted from applying to be recruited into the military, pointed out that PWDs can fill other units that are not combatant or require the use of arms.
“The 5% allocation for recruitment is sacrosanct and mandatory for all agencies, persons with disabilities can be exempted from those strenuous training and given certain privileges as it is readily done in the NYSC where they collect exemption letters. If legislation is required we can begin to work on that but as the law stands it covers everyone, we can collaborate and look for possible solutions to accommodate all Nigerians,” she stated.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission, Anthony Ojukwu, while noting that there lots of legal framework that protects the rights of persons with albinism, called for tougher legislations to curb violence against persons with albinism for their safety as well as prosecute perpetrators.
He added that awareness campaign must be prioritized across all states to sensitize Nigerians on the capabilities and merits of persons with albinism.
The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr James Lalu, pointed out that with the emergence of climate is exposing dangerous conditions to PWDs as evident in skin cancer caused by direct exposure to the sun to albinos.
Jake Epelle, the Chief Executive Officer of the Albinism Foundation, commended the INCLUSION magazine for this laudable event and added that one of the greatest challenges of the persons with albinism is that they do not demand for their rights.