By: Abayomi Adeshida, ABUJA
Nigeria’s ability to reap the full benefits of Joe Biden’s incoming presidency in the United States of America would be based on the Nigerian government’s ability to always engage with the American leadership on comprehensive policies that do not discriminate against anyone, especially Nigerians who live with disabilities.
Equal Rights for People with Disabilities International Incorporation President, Chief Eric Ufom, who said from his base in Texas, said his claims were based on his past work experience with Mr. Biden as a U.S. Vice President under President Barak Obama for many advocacy meetings where Mr. Biden championed the efforts of the United States of America to help Nigeria domesticate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons Living with Disabilities.
According to Chief Ufom. “The experience that he uncovered during that period was a very transparent demonstration of his willingness as a world leader to work with everyone without any discrimination against anyone.
“He made sincere contributions and was instrumental to us at many points where we needed him to help us move to the next stage of the process.
“You can measure the outcome of your efforts through your bottom line with the recent establishment of the Commission for Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“What you just saw with the signing of the bill that the Commission established was the result of more than two decades of dedicated efforts by many stakeholders inside and outside the country.
“And I think this is the right time to give credit to the president-elect of the United States of America, Mr. Joe Biden, who served selflessly at the time when he was asked to guide us through the steps we had to take. take to tame the United Nations Treaty on the Rights of Persons Living with Disabilities, signed by Nigeria under the presidency of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“Under President Biden, I envision a strong relationship that would see Nigeria witness leaps and bounds in development.
“I don’t expect to have an American government under your command to deliberately impose some policies that would inhibit Nigeria or any nation that is ready to take your hands and grow.
If you remember his first speech after he was declared the winner of the legal votes to be the 46th president of the United States of America, he promised to lead an inclusive government that would also enter into bilateral and multilateral relationships that would make the United States win back its friends and allies.
“If Nigeria can take advantage of this new relationship, the whole country will surely experience the benefits of friendship.
“However, let me warn here that it is also possible that we may again miss the opportunity provided by this new relationship if we continue to practice discriminatory policies that would get the country nowhere.
“As we await his inauguration on January 20, 2021, we should also be prepared with our own people who have already established relationships with Americans in many areas so that we can build on existing relationships while looking for new ones.
“Then we would witness visible advances in development across the country in all facets, especially, we would witness the measurable and evident contributions of Nigerians living with disabilities to nation building.