Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD has condemned the discrimination against persons with disabilities by Dana Airline by reason of being wheelchair users, saying such behavior implies that passengers with disabilities are prohibited from using the services of Dana Air.
CCD made this known in a press release signed by its Executive Director, David Anyaele, in responding to the discrimination against Dr. Chike Okogwu who was denied access from boarding Dana Air on Dec. 20, 2020.
CCD expressed its worries that “this is not the first-time passengers with disabilities are being discriminated against by airline operators, in particular Dana Airline, as a lady on wheelchair was found on a video footage being denied access to board Dana Airline few days ago at MM2 Lagos Airport.”
BONews Service had earlier published a video where a woman on wheelchair was prevented from boarding her flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt and despite the video evidence, Dana Air denied such occurrence but other victims of their discriminatory acts confirmed they have gone through such terrible experiences.
CCD noted that the Dana Airline policy which is preventing Wheelchair users from boarding “is a violation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 which provides in section 1 that a person with disability shall not be discriminated against on the ground of his disability by any person or institution in any manner or circumstance whatsoever.
“This is in tandem with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which mandates states parties in article 5 to prohibit all discrimination on the basis of disability and guarantee to persons with disabilities equal and effective legal protection against discrimination on all. Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) including its optional protocols.
“This obnoxious Dana Airline policy is also a violation of section 14 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 which provides that all airlines operating in Nigeria shall ensure the accessibility of their aircraft to persons with disabilities; make available presentable and functional wheelchair for the conveyance of persons with disabilities who need them to and from the airport; ensure that persons with disabilities are assisted to get on and off board in safety and reasonable comfort; and ensure that persons with disabilities are accorded priority while boarding and disembarking from the aircraft.”
CCD thereafter called “on the leadership of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities to speedily investigate the increasing human rights violations against citizens with disabilities by airline operators in Nigeria with the view of bringing perpetrators to book.
“We also call on the Federal Ministry of Aviation to speedily implement section 14:2 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 which provides that all airports shall be made available for the conveyance of persons with disabilities who need presentable and functional assistive and protective devices to and from the aircraft.
“We need Accessible Airports, in particular mobile wheelchair lifters in all our airports across the Federation for easy access to and from aircraft, as more than 95% of the airports in Nigeria are not accessible to persons with disabilities.
“We are requesting for the urgent intervention of the leadership of the National Assembly, particularly House Committee on Disability Matters; and Aviation through conduct of oversight functions on the state of access to airport for persons with disabilities in order to appreciate the level of hardship being faced by citizens with disabilities at our airports so as to make appropriate legislations to protect the rights of airport users with disabilities.