MONROVIA: With less than five months for the holding of the Presidential and Legislative elections in the Country, people with disabilities in the Country under the banner” National Union Organizations of the Disabled in Liberia (NUOD) are appealing for three Legislative seats to be allotted to them exclusively in the National Legislature.
The group President Mr. Peter Blessing Kerkula Flomo called on the Government of Liberia to make available the three seats for persons with Disabilities as enshrined in the Act that established the National Commission on Disabilities (NCD).
He said Section 9 of the 2005 Act establishing the Liberian National Commission on Disabilities gives the National Elections Commission (NEC) the power to constitute three constituencies that will elect three candidates with disabilities to represent the interest of persons with Disabilities at the House of Representatives.
According to him, in August 2016, the Liberian Senate passed and forwarded an Affirmative Action Bill to the House of Representatives amidst strong support from various women groups and other stakeholders under the leadership of the Women Legislative Caucus, and the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection which original version proposed the creation of 21 ‘Special Legislative Constituencies’, out of which 15 seats would be reserved exclusively for women and three seats each for the youth population and people with disabilities(PWDs).
Speaking recently, following his induction as President of the National Union Organizations of the Disabled in Liberia, Mr. Flomo appealed to the Government of Liberia to make available the seats that are allotted to PWDs on or before the October 10 elections as we have more qualified Disables without Job opportunities and the Government of Liberia had earlier afforded them the opportunities by passing the 2005 Act to enable qualified Disables to be employed in government ministries, agencies, as well as companies and private sector.
He further underscored the need for them to be integrated into society not to be discriminated against based on their disabilities as the country belongs to all of us regardless of our present situation.
At the same time, the NUOD’s boss called on the government to have a budget line under the National Commission on Disabilities (NCD) just as other entities like Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) and Liberian National Student Union (LINSU) that are under the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) in order to do away with subsides that are given at the wish of the commission.
He said the Union is there to supervise the welfare of PWDs as a civil society organization to advocate for the inclusion and protection of the rights of PWDs.
He noted that the union used to get subsidies from NCD and the main objective formulating the union is to have interrelationship with the president so that whatever provided should be shared with the union and its members.
He lamented that contrary to that what they are experiencing now they cannot run the Union at their wishes.
He used the occasion to plead with the legislature and central government to give them a budgetary allotment.
He vowed that his leadership will build the Union’s national headquarter through the help of its partners which he said will include training center for Disabled people.