Home Disability News PWDs Vote-Ability: IFA, NCPWD and INEC Launch Vote-Ability Campaign to Increase Registration of PWDs

PWDs Vote-Ability: IFA, NCPWD and INEC Launch Vote-Ability Campaign to Increase Registration of PWDs

by Inclusive News Network

By Chukwunyere Nwosu (INN)

In a press conference at the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, 21 of July, The Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) in collaboration with National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) and Independent Electoral Commission have launched the PWDs – CVR Campaign VOTE-ability, an initiative that targets all clusters of PWDs eligible to vote to register in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) Exercise.

In his speech, the representative from INEC, Alhaji Yahaya Bello said that INEC Chairman is so passionate about persons with disability and in ensuring that they are not disenfranchised, he has included inclusivity in the motto of INEC apart from conducting free, fair, credible and transparent elections.

Mr Bello noted that the idea of gathering and facilitating the registration of PWDs is very commendable, especially in view of the commission’s mandate towards an inclusive general election in 2023. Any election in Nigeria is not inclusive if all the segments of the society are included in the process.

He stated that the commission’s reason for inclusivity in the electoral process is because the commission recognizes that citizens irrespective of their peculiarities hold the key to enthronement of democracy in any country. The unhindered participation of all eligible citizens of this electoral process also confers credibility and legitimacy to the process.

The future of Nigeria is a collective responsibility and the vote and voice of every citizen with disability is very important is their power. He encouraged all persons with disability to come out in mass to register in the Continued Voters’ Registration exercise.

He assured the Commission that INEC will work in conjunction, cooperation, partnership with NCPWD in order to ensure that whatever program the Commission comes up with for PWDs to register in designated centers in each area council in Abuja, FCT, and make sure that machines are and people to attend to PWDs are there and to register, capture, and give PVCs to PWDs to vote like any other person.

In her statement, the Executive Director of Inclusive Friends Association, Grace Jerry, said this campaign aims to encourage and provide a platform to all PWD clusters that are eligible to vote but have not yet enrolled in the CVR. She also noted that the exercise targets 75,422 to 1 million registered PWDs before the close of the registration exercise on 31st July, 2022.

According to Jerry, the campaign will target special schools and local communities to set up registration booths through a community-based approach.

Among the CVR Centers will be:

1. Pilot Primary school Wuse Zone 5
2. Abuja School for the Deaf, Kuje
3. Bilmor Technical and Vocational Center, Gudu
4. Disability colony, Kalamajiji
5. Junior secondary school, Gwagwalada
6. Govt Girls Secondary school Dutse Alhaji

The Executive Secretary of NCPWD, Mr. James Lalu, sent a message to all politicians and candidates, informing them that the number of PWDs in the 2023 general election deserves their attention and they should look for disability communities in their different constituencies to start negotiating with them.

He stated that the scaling of the voters registration is to ensure PWDs participate fully in the electoral system and exercise their civic right. Noting that the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability Prohibition Act has escalated a lot of opportunities for the rights, respect and dignity of PWDs in Nigeria. He assured the Disability Community that the commission will monitor the process and remain committed to INEC’s inclusivity in the upcoming 2023 general election.

He appealed to the Media men to continue to provide the necessary voice on behalf of the Disability Community and continue to amplify the rights and dignity of PWDs everywhere. Ensuring everybody that PWDs will come out in masses to vote next year.

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