Professor Abubakar O. Sulaiman, Director-General of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), has called upon stakeholders to prioritize the inclusion of Persons With Disability (PWD) in governance.

Speaking at the Strategic Discourse on the Inclusion of PWD in Governance organized by NILDS in Abuja, the DG emphasized that relegating PWD to secondary roles is no longer acceptable. “This does not align with the democracy we aspire to,” he asserted.

Highlighting the institute’s commitment to fostering democratic practice in Nigeria through inclusive participation in governance, he underscored the importance of addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups. He reiterated NILDS’s dedication to promoting, protecting, and defending the interests of these groups to ensure no one is marginalized in the political, economic, and social spheres.

Addressing the lack of representation of PWD in legislative bodies, Prof. Sulaiman noted that out of the 109 Senators and 360 House of Representatives members, only one lawmaker is a PWD. He stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to addressing issues such as climate change and insecurity that affect PWD, calling for government action beyond rhetoric.

Emphasizing the importance of engaging stakeholders on inclusion, particularly regarding women, youth, and PWD, the DG reaffirmed NILDS’s readiness to advocate for the rights of PWD.

He concluded by stating that the resolutions from the discourse would be presented to the National Assembly to potentially advance legislation supporting PWD inclusion.