The Albino Foundation (TAF) has inaugurated a voter education campaign for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to guarantee inclusion and increase their participation in the 2023 general election.
Speaking at the ceremony in Durumi IDP camp, Abuja, Jake Epelle, founder, Chief Executive Officer, TAF, said the event was to also commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Epelle said the campaign was designed to create awareness among IDPs on their rights and the need to participate in politics and electoral processes by coming out to vote and be voted for in the election.
“Reaching the unreached has always been a problem, so today we decided that we are going to make a formidable impact in the lives of those who need help making sure that food is delivered to their homes.
“We are also making sure that they know their rights when it comes to the electoral process and participate effectively.
“We are passionate about reaching the unreached and consider the IDPs one of those segments of people, so we will do whatever we can to ensure that they participate in the elections and also join in the celebration of World disability day,” he said.
Epelle said if Nigeria was driving toward inclusivity in the electoral process, then nobody should be left behind.
He said that the Electoral Act has captured the clauses that allowed displaced persons to vote and if they were not reached, they would be disenfranchised and Nigeria would not have been said to practice true democracy.
Ms Ndifreke Ferdinand, the Project Manager, The Albino Foundation, said the foundation was involved in a voter education sensitisation campaign called “Able to Vote” and just concluded the one for PWDs.
Ferdinand said the organisation was kick-starting the phase for IDPs and at the Durumi camp as well as celebrate the Disabilities Day with them.
She added that the foundation would take the campaign to other zones of the country to education IDPs on the electoral system to boost their participation in 2023 poll.
Mr Ikem Uchegbunam, the Director, Compliance and Enforcement, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, said that in September the commission had a special intervention programme called ‘Votability’ to help displaced persons and PWDs to register for 2023 poll.
Uchegbunam said that registration centres were brought to closer to them to avoid being excluded.
” So I would not know why about 60 per cent of them here were not able to register, but the point was, some of them rather than push for change of polling unit opted to register afresh .
“The registration officer said no, so that is where the problem must have come from.
“However, we will continue to push INEC to see how they can maybe make some concession for them to be able to vote,” he said. (NAN)