Reps summon KFC for discriminating against physically-challenged

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The House of Representatives Committee on Disabilities has invited the management of a popular food outlet, Kentucky Fried Chicken, over the alleged ill-treatment of Mr Adebola Daniel, son of former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel and a person living with a disability.

The committee’s chairman, Bashiru Ayinla, disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing House of Representatives correspondents at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

Ayinla, a member of the All Progressives Congress representing Oshodi/Isolo-1 Federal Constituency, Lagos State, said the committee would ensure that those found to have breached the Disability Act are punished by the provisions of the law.

Adebola, a wheelchair user was said to have been denied access to the KFC outlet within the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos last week with the manager quoted as saying, “No wheelchair allowed.”

Speaking on the development, the lawmaker said, “We have invited KFC and there will be an investigation which will be based on House rules.”

He added, “The discriminatory incident, highlighted by Mr Daniel’s public account, sheds light on the challenges being faced by individuals with disabilities in Nigeria.

“Mr Daniel, a wheelchair user, faced humiliation when he was refused entry to the KFC outlet, with the manager stating, ‘No wheelchair allowed.’ This treatment is unacceptable and goes against the principles of inclusivity and respect and it is a violation of the Disability Act.”

According to Ayinla, the son of the ex-governor and serving senator, Daniel, recounted his experience at the KFC outlet of the airport in a series of tweets posted on Wednesday via his X handle, @DebolaDaniel, saying, “Being disabled often rolls over my spirit, leaving behind a trail of shattered dignity and forgotten humanity. Nowhere more so than in Nigeria.”

He added that the denial of individuals with disabilities access to public spaces is not only disrespectful “But also undermines ongoing efforts to implement the Disability Act.”

He continued, “The case of Mr Adebola Daniel is one in millions of other unreported cases of such abuses and injustices against people with disabilities. This will no longer be tolerated by the governments at all levels. Any establishments within the shore of our country irrespective of owners’ status should take note. Enough is enough!

“The Discrimination against People with Disabilities Prohibition Act 2018, passed by the National Assembly, aims to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities.

“However, compliance with this Act has been lacking since the grace period ended in January.”
Ayinla pledged the readiness of the committee to engage with communities to kick-start the full implementation of the Disability Act, adding that “Key provisions such as access to public buildings, employment quotas, and welfare promotion for persons with disabilities must be enforced to ensure their rights are upheld.”

He called on state governments to domesticate the Disability Act, following the lead of Lagos State, noting that a sustained awareness of the public would go a long way in protecting the rights of persons living with one form of disability or the other.

Fielding questions from journalists on the sideline of the briefing, Ayinla rejected the notion that the committee is speaking up solely because the son of a highly-placed citizen is involved but added, “If it takes Daniel’s son to make our members get access to public places and make the work of our committee known, so be it.”

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