The International Republican Institute’s (IRI) hosted a roundtable to discuss the passage of the 2009 disability legislation, which will improve the political and socio-economic rights of Nigerian’s living with disabilities.  Following the roundtable, IRI hosted a press conference to mark the release of the Braille version of the Electoral Reform Committee’s recommendations.

The roundtable’s main objectives were to bridge the communications gap between the Human Rights Committees of both houses working on the disability legislation.  Such legislation directly corresponds with IRI’s objective of promoting the rights of marginalized and underrepresented groups, while also fulfilling the aspiration of international human rights conventions, such as the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  

Remarks were given during the roundtable by Rep. Herman Hembe, Senator Anthony Agbo, Justice Bola Babalakin, and the president of the Joint National Association of People with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Danlami Basharu.  IRI congratulated all stakeholders present, especially the members of parliament, for their hard work and dedication towards the realization of an act that will guarantee the rights of Nigerians with disabilities, consistent with international human rights conventions.  

The following day, IRI hosted a press conference, to mark the release of the recommendations of the ERC in Braille.  In his remarks, Basharu, himself visually impaired, identified access to information as a major challenge facing blind persons in Nigeria.  He thanked IRI for making it possible for blind Nigerians to have a grasp of the reform issues and was sure that it will improve the quality of their participation in the process.  Braille copies of the ERC recommendations were given to JONAPWD to circulate to the blind.

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