The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in conjunction with International Foundation For Electoral Systems (IFES ) just concluded a 2-day Voter Education Training for Persons With Disabilities and Civil Society Organizations.

The 2-day training challenged participants to take the lessons learnt to the grass-roots mobilizing and educating the people on the importance of elections and the right to vote.

Declaring the training open, Resident Electoral Commissioner Dr Nwachukwu Orji, represented by Mr Samuel Nimem (Head of Department Voter Education and Publicity) stated that Anambra is a good place to be regardless of the present security challenges. He remarked that the election is not a one man show rather it requires the efforts of all, irrespective of positions and views.

“INEC believes everyone is equal with inclusion of marginalized groups like women, youth, elderly, Persons with Disabilities as well as Civil Society Organizations.

“Free and Fair elections cannot be achieved by INEC alone. Involving PWDs and CSOs is a critical step towards recording electoral success story come November 6.”

Nimem thanked the development partner, International Foundation For Electoral Systems (IFES) for its continual support even as the electoral body continues to advance electronically.

In a goodwill message, Miss Judith Rotten representing IFES Country Director, Seray Jah, welcomed participants to the training. She noted that IFES has been collaborating with INEC towards increasing participation of marginalized groups in the electoral process since 2009.

“This training is a method of educating you on Voter Education in hope that you will take whatever you learnt here down to your various communities.”

Director of a newly created INEC department, Gender and Inclusive Department (GID), Mrs Blessing Obidiegwu, represented by a Deputy Director, Mrs Lakunuya Dorathy Bello emphasized that election gives electorates the power to have a say in governance.

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She noted that PWDs and CSOs have huge roles to play in Voters Education through advocacy, Voters Education Forums, etc.

According to her, “The Gender and Inclusive Department of INEC was solely created for the marginalized groups and we look up to the CSOs and PWDs to take the message of Voters Education to every nook and crannies of Anambra State even as the elections draw near.”

In his vote of thanks, chairman, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Anambra Chapter, Comrade Ugochukwu Ernest Okeke appreciated INEC and IFES for organizing the kind of educative training.

Ugochukwu acknowledged that INEC and other development partners have done a lot in promoting inclusion and active participation of PWDs in Electoral Processes through trainings and workshops.

“Persons with Disabilities in Anambra State have started to use previously acquired knowledge to encourage members to actively participate in the just concluded Continuous Voters Registration. Consequently, many of us have our PVCs handy and ready to make our votes count”

Lastly, Ugochukwu assured organizers of the training that all participants at the training will take the acquired to the grassroots and enlighten others.

Facilitators of the training took time to take the participants through Basics of Voters Education, Achieving Voters Education, Concept of Free and Fair Elections, Voters Education Strategies and Simulation, etc. There were also group work and presentations.

Highpoint of the event was role play on Conducting a Forum and sensitization of the public on CVR and importance of PVC.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Sir,/Ma,

    I due really appreciate this training for PWDs on PVC registration. I’m a sign language interpreter to Hon. SSA Disabled to Kano state Government on disabled people affairs. We may like to join hands with you and do something like what you did in Anambra state.

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