Nyincho Samuel, an inhabitant of Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon has seen his ambition of becoming a regional councilor shattered just because he is living with a visual impairment.
“…those who have material and financial resources and are guarded by military men in armored cars are those who have the right today to run for political offices in the North West region,” Nyincho Samuel told Mimi Mefo Info on phone Thursday, December 3rd, 2020.
“With the Anglophone crisis, it’s survival of the fittest. Persons living with disabilities don’t have security while hiding in their homes so it’s totally impossible to engage in political events. We cannot dare for fear of our lives and those of our families” he added.
To the one time municipal councilor, a law for political parties to include names of people living with disabilities on the list of candidates seeking elective posts is no longer respected.
“No one living with a disability is in any council in the North West today that I know,” the general coordinator of the association of people living with disability in the North West region affirms.
People living with disabilities in the crisis-hit North West and South West Regions of Cameroon decry the fact that not only are they excluded from politics due to their disabilities, but they are also excluded from other aspects of local governance as a whole.
“When the shooting starts, for example, people on wheelchairs cannot run, the blind cannot help themselves at that level and many others with different disabilities are left at the mercy of total insecurity”.
To Nyincho Samuel, “…what we need most now is to live. The warring factions should come to the table of dialogue. The UN, AU, and other international bodies should exert pressure on the executive arm of governance to solve the problem. The executive has the keys to the problem”.
The International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) commemorated December 3rd each year seeks to promote full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development.
The theme for the 2020 edition is “Building back better: Action towards a disability-inclusive accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”.
People living with disabilities in the North West affirm that the war should come to an end for life to return to normal.