by Henry Tyohemba
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called for reservation of slots for persons with disabilities in the selection and voting of candidates for elective offices.
The agency made the call in Abuja during a one-day sensitization/public enlightenment programme with the themed “Sensitisation Forum on Promotion and PWD’s Inclusiveness in the Electoral Process and Governance.”
The sensitisation was part of efforts to ensure that Nigerian women and Peoples With Disabilities (PWDs) participate more in the 2023 general elections.
Speaking at the event, Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari said over fifty percent of the electorate at any given election are women, unfortunately, only a few of them occupy top positions in governance.
Abari who was represented by the Deputy Director, Overseeing PCEV, Ajaegbu Edozie, said as part of the effort towards promoting women’s participation in the electoral and governance process, the NOA organised a one-day sensitization program to encourage women to actively participate in the electoral process and governance.
“Despite the effort, it was observed that women and People with Disabilities (PWDs) inclusiveness was not remarkably recorded in the political parties nomination of candidates in the just concluded primaries.
“There is a need for deliberate steps to be taken to ensure that people with disabilities participate fully in the electoral process by voting and also being voted for elective positions”, he said.
In her goodwill message, the President of National Council For Women Societies, Hajiya Lami Adam Lau said despite the anti-discriminatory laws in the country, they are noticeably absent in politics and public offices in Nigeria.
“Excluding this huge population from the decision-making table is a huge mistake,” he said.
On his part, the FCT Chairman of PWDs, Abubakar Abduljaleel commended the INEC and NOA saying that what you are doing is indeed a welcome development because, without this sensitization, a lot of us might not be aware of such provisions in the new electoral act.”